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`World’s biggest motor buyer` buys VDO motors business

21 December, 2007

Continental AG has sold on the automotive electric motors business that it acquired as part of Siemens’ VDO operation, which it bought for €11.4bn in early December. The new owner is the German Brose Group, which is believed to have paid about €250m for the VDO motors operation, which employs around 4,200 people and had sales worth €740m in 2007. The photo (below) shows Brose chairman Michael Stoschek (left) with Manfred Wennemer, chairman of Continental`s executive board.

Brose Continental VDO deal

Privately owned Brose, which manufactures automotive door systems, window regulators and seat adjusters, says that it has previously been the world’s biggest buyer of electric motors, with an annual need for more than 700 million machines. Brose had already engaged in talks with Siemens VDO about acquiring the motors business before Continental bought VDO.

The business being sold makes motors for power steering, anti-lock braking, engine cooling, window controls, and heating and ventilation systems. The deal also includes Continental’s cooling fans operation, but excludes VDO’s Berlin-based hybrid vehicle drive activities.

As well as having operations in Germany, the VDO motors business has plants in France, the US and Mexico, as well as three in China. VDO also owned plants in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Brazil, but only individual production lines will change hands at these sites.

Brose says that the VDO motors acquisition will increase its competitive edge in the market for automotive mechatronic systems.

In 2007, Brose achieved sales worth €2.5bn and, before the VDO acquisition, had about 9,800 employees working at almost 40 locations in 19 countries.

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