Mahle and Hella sell its BHTC shares to AUO
Automotive suppliers Mahle and Hella are selling their respective 50% stake in the Behr-Hella Thermocontrol (BHTC) joint venture to AUO Corporation, a Taiwan-based specialist in display panel products and solutions.
The parties signed the relevant agreement and the total purchase price is based on an enterprise value of EUR 600 million. The transaction is however still subject to approval by the relevant foreign trade and antitrust authorities, but closing is expected to take place by mid-2024.
The agreed sale of shares is the result of constructive discussions between Mahle and Hella regarding the future positioning and direction of BHTC. These talks were initiated against the backdrop of a change of control clause in the joint venture agreement following the technology company Faurecia's acquisition of a majority stake in Hella.
“BHTC is a well-positioned, future-oriented company. However, after consideration of all the framework conditions, we have jointly reached the conclusion that BHTC has greater growth opportunities under a new owner than in the current shareholder structures,” says Hella CEO Michel Favre, in a press release. “With our divestment from the joint venture, we are also continuing our established portfolio management. In this context, we are strengthening our focus and resource allocation on our core business groups Lighting, Electronics, and Lifecycle Solutions.”
BHTC headquartered in Lippstadt, Germany, is a player in the field of air conditioning control as well as a specialist in HMI (Human-Machine-Interface) system solutions. BHTC currently employs around 2,900 people worldwide and generated sales of EUR 619 million in 2022.
"Against the backdrop of increasing global competition and restructuring value chains in the industry, the combination of AUO and BHTC optimally brings together the respective strengths of both companies,” says Paul Peng, Chairman and Group Chief Strategy Officer of AUO. “Jointly, we can make the best use of both companies'' global operations, local production facilities and world-class visionary research and engineering teams. On this basis, we aim to leverage synergies and accelerate the interconnection of the automotive industry''s global supply and value chains to deliver outstanding, diverse and innovative solutions to our global customers and partners."