Clearwater International Germany advises BENTELER GROUP on the cross-border sale of BENTELER Automotive Farsund to US-based Chassix

Clearwater International Germany has advised BENTELER GROUP (BENTELER) on the sale of the BENTELER Automotive plant in Farsund, Norway, to US-based Chassix Inc. (Chassix).

BENTELER is a leading global company that develops, produces and sells products, systems and services for the automotive, energy and engineering sectors. BENTELER is a family-owned firm now in the fourth generation. Its 30,000 employees at 153 locations in 40 countries are passionate about excellence in manufacturing and distribution – in close proximity and collaboration with their customers. Sales in 2016 amounted to €7.4bn. The three business divisions BENTELER Automotive, BENTELER Steel/Tube and BENTELER Distribution are organised under the strategic management holding company BENTELER International AG in Salzburg, Austria.

BENTELER and Chassix signed a contractual agreement to transfer ownership of the BENTELER Automotive plant in Farsund. With this divestment, BENTELER intends to focus on its core business. The decision to look for a new owner for the Farsund plant was the result of an in-depth analysis of the business portfolio. BENTELER will continue to develop lightweight solutions to keep up with current demand in the automotive industry. By doing so, BENTELER will leverage its in-house competence in steel and aluminum processing based on 141 years of experience.

BENTELER Automotive Farsund is a modern highly automated aluminum foundry, designing and producing lightweight aluminum structural castings. The company has approximately 275 employees, producing safety-critical parts such as sub frames, swing arms, steering knuckles and rear hubs for highly renowned car manufacturers in the premium segment.

Chassix is a leading vertically integrated, global automotive supplier. The business offers engineering and manufacturing solutions for high-quality, precision chassis and driveline aluminum and iron safety-critical components. Chassix has 4,500 employees across 23 locations in 7 countries and generated sales of €1.2bn in 2016.

With its broad customer and product portfolio, Chassix plans to accelerate growth with strategic customers in the future, strengthening its global production footprint in Europe.

The sales agreement was signed on 26 October 2017. An approval by the anti-trust authority is not required. However, certain customary closing conditions still need to be fulfilled before the transfer can be effected.

This transaction is the result of a competitive, global sales process led by Clearwater International and represents the 255th deal of our global automotive sector team.

The Clearwater International team was led by Managing Partner and global head of automotive Tobias Schätzmüller, with support from Managing Partner and GSA head of industrials and special situations Markus Otto, Associate Director Christopher Herzog, as well as Analysts Julian Feulner and Oleg Artjuschkin.

“The automotive market is rapidly changing. Our ability to anticipate trends and to offer relevant customer solutions is key to the success of our company. The divestment of the casting plant in Farsund will allow us to further invest into our core business and leverage upcoming opportunities. We will pursue our strategic plan: We will further develop electric mobility and provide full system solutions which automotive customers increasingly outsource. At the same time, we will systematically leverage future trends such as digitalization, cooperation with start-ups and invest into growing markets such as China.”

Laurent Favre, CEO, BENTELER Automotive

“TThe Farsund business is strategically aligned with the Chassix growth plan and provides a strong team to further develop the Chassix core competencies of casting and machining chassis, powertrain and sub-frame solutions for our global customers.”

Doug DelGrosso, CEO, Chassix

“It was a great pleasure working with the BENTELER team on this interesting cross-border transaction. This marks the 10th automotive deal of our global automotive sector team in 2017, and executed jointly with our special situations team. We are convinced that Chassix represents the ideal strategic partner for the Farsund plant, its management team and employees, offering global reach and a great platform for further growth.”

Tobias Schätzmüller, Managing Partner, global head of automotive, Clearwater International