Lippstadt, 2 October 2023
. Automotive suppliers MAHLE and HELLA are selling their respective 50 percent stake in the Behr-Hella Thermocontrol (BHTC) joint venture to AUO Corporation. The parties signed the relevant agreement today. The total purchase price is based on an enterprise value of € 600 million. The transaction is currently still subject to approval by the relevant foreign trade and antitrust authorities; closing is expected to take place by mid-2024. AUO, based in Taiwan, specializes in particular in display panel products and solutions.
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 after the technology company Faurecia acquired 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. “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.”
“Since its foundation almost 25 years ago, BHTC has established itself as a strong automotive supplier with an excellent technology portfolio and a high customer reputation. We are therefore pleased to have found a strategic buyer in AUO who can further develop BHTC's business in a competitive and continuously growing environment and seize new market opportunities,” emphasizes Arnd Franz, Chairman of the MAHLE Group Management Board and CEO. “We are focusing on further accelerating our transformation with a consistent focus on electrification, thermal management, and components for sustainable green combustion engines as part of our MAHLE 2030+ strategy.”
"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."
BHTC, headquartered in Lippstadt (Germany), is a leading company in the field of air conditioning control as well as a specialist for system solutions in the field of HMI (Human-Machine-Interface). BHTC currently employs around 2,900 people worldwide and generated sales of € 619 million in 2022. BHTC was founded in 1999 as a joint venture between the two equal shareholders MAHLE and HELLA.