German foundry Group Neue Halberg-Guss is on the verge of being acquired by new owners it has been reported in the German newspaper Saarbrücker Zeitung. The report says that the newspaper has been given inside information that financial services provider Süddeutsche Leasing is in discussions to purchase the foundry group but no official announcement has been made either by Süddeutsche Leasing or current owners Dutch investment fund HTP, which rescued the group from insolvency in 2011.
The Saarbrücken based foundry group has seen a turnaround in business fortunes since the new owners took control. HTP has for some time intended to sell the foundry group, according to the report. Just over a year ago the Brazilian engine block foundry group Tupy, who are listed on the Brazilian stock exchange, was in talks as a buyer. This, however, caused great unrest in the workforce. At the time, the Brazilians had announced that they would close the Saarbrücken plant if they purchased the group.
Inside the Neue Halberg-Guss foundry
The Saarbrücken foundry of Neue Halberg-Guss, which primarily manufactures engine blocks and cylinder heads for car and truck manufacturers, as well as crankshafts, employs 2 000 people at its German locations in Saarbrücken and Leipzig. In addition, Atlantis Foundries in South Africa, which employees about 1 000 staff, belongs to the group. Neue Halberg Guss purchased Atlantis Foundries in 2015 from the Daimler Group.
According to the report Neue Halberg-Guss generates sales of over 300 million euros. The foundries in Europe are currently very busy and the workforce has grown, according to observers. The group’s most important customers include VW and Daimler and it is the second largest industrial employer in the capital and administrative city of the German state of Saarland, behind ZF.
HTP have reportedly invested around 100 million euros in the foundries since 2011, with 20 million euros spent on new equipment in the Saarbrücken foundry. This includes equipment in the core department and a new dust extraction and filtration system.
The report carries on to say that Neue Halberg-Guss is also preparing for the future, should the demand for passenger car engine blocks go back to what it was. The vacuum left by the downturn in production of passenger car engine blocks has reportedly been filled with the demand for trucks, buses and agricultural machinery engine blocks, which has seen an appreciable increase. The split in production between passenger car and other blocks sits currently at 50/50. However, the product range manufactured in the foundries is still very broad and concerning. The range of blocks manufactured can go from the three-cylinder block for passenger cars to large-volume V8 units for commercial vehicles. However, productivity needs to be further improved, insiders say. Some work processes are still too complex and not optimally coordinated, they say.