Plastic Omnium finalises acquisition of Mahle shares in HBPO

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Photo by Plastic Omnium SA Audi Q7 V12 model

French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium SA has completed the acquisition of an additional 33.33% equity share in HBPO GmbH, following approvals from relevant competition authorities on 26 June.

A three-way joint venture, HBPO, which specialises in the design and assembly of front-end modules, including bumpers and lighting systems, was held equally by Plastic Omnium, Hella and Mahle-Behr up until now.

With the €350m acquisition, which was originally announced in March, Plastic Omnium now owns 66.66% of the Lippstadt, Germany-based business.

HBPO develops automotive front-end modules and, according to Plastic Omnium, has a 20% market share of the industry worldwide. The company generated €2bn in revenue in 2017, having delivered 6 million front-end modules.

The firm aims to increase revenue to €3bn by 2021.

By strengthening its holding in HBPO, Plastic Omnium expects to improve the development of smart and modular products, to “meet the technological challenges of tomorrow's autonomous and connected car.”

The joint venture, Hella Behr Plastic Omnium (HBPO), was formed as an equal partnership in 2004 among automotive suppliers Hella GmbH & Co. KgaA, Plastic Omnium and Behr GmbH & Co. KG.

In 2013, Mahle increased its holding in the Behr Group to a 51% majority, forming Mahle Behr, the company’s thermal management business unit that supplies components for automotive HVAC systems.

Through its acquisition of Behr, Mahle holds 33.33% of the shares in the HBPO joint venture.

The front-end module is a complex assembly which includes the shock absorption beam, the lighting and engine cooling systems, the active radiator grille shutters and the driving assistance radars and sensors.

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