Georg Fischer to Sell Wheel Couplings Unit

Aug. 29, 2008
Plans to focus on automotive castings

Georg Fischer AG reports it intends to sell its shares of Georg Fischer Verkehrstechnik GmbH, to SAF-Holland S.A. GF Verkehrstechnik, headquartered in Singen, Germany, produces and sells fifth-wheel couplings and trilex wheels for the commercial vehicle market. It had sales totaling about $88 million in 2007.

The fifth wheels are spheroidal graphite cast iron or cast steel products sized for cotter pins of 2- or 3.5-in. in diameter, to carry loads between 3.3 and 40 tons. Trilex wheels have hubs designed to be disassembled for easier changing on large transport vehicles.

GF stated that the sale is part of its effort to focus on its core business, automotive castings. Its GF Automotive includes iron casting, sand and gravity diecasting, and pressure diecasting operations in Europe, North America, and China, as well as the Verkehrstechnik unit.

The sale remains subject to regulatory clearance. No value has been reported for the transaction.

The SAF-Holland Group, based in Luxembourg, is a supplier of components and systems for the transportation industry. The Verkehrstechnik business will continue as usual, with the current management and its 80 employees. Georg Fischer AG stated that the sale “is a good, long-term solution for both parties.

“Georg Fischer Verkehrstechnik will benefit from a worldwide market presence in a new and expanded environment, working together with experienced partners,” according to a release. “Through its takeover of Georg Fischer Verkehrstechnik, the SAF-Holland Group will gain matching products and additional market share and will reinforce its strong position especially in Europe and the U.S.A.”