The increasing relevance of lightweight design is having a significant impact on foundries. GF Casting Solutions reacts and already sells two European automotive iron foundries.
The trend towards lighter vehicles continues to have a substantial impact on the automotive industry. In this context, GF Casting Solutions, a division of GF, will have a stronger focus on light metal casting whilst reducing its presence in iron casting in Europe. As a consequence, the iron casting plants located in Singen and Mettmann (Germany) have been divested to members of the management of GF Casting Solutions, effective retroactively as of 1 December 2018. This portfolio reshaping and the resulting regional footprint adaptation are fully in line with GF’s 2020 strategy. The strategic EBIT margin objectives will be increased to 9 to 10%. The transaction is profit neutral.
Lightweight design gains importance
The fast growing demand for aluminium and magnesium castings worldwide calls for a sustained increase of GF’s presence in this sector. Accordingly, GF Casting Solutions is building up new capacities in the US, Romania and China whilst extending its offering towards ready-to-mount parts. Moreover, the division is investing into its promising super alloy components business for aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines, following the acquisition of Precicast Industrial Holding SA (Switzerland) in April 2018.
GF Casting Solutions will have a stronger focus on light metal casting whilst reducing its presence in iron casting in Europe. GF Casting Solutions has offloaded its iron foundry in Singen, Germany
In line with this portfolio re-focusing, the two iron casting plants in Singen and Mettmann (Germany) with a dedicated workforce of 2 000 employees and a combined sales of approximately CHF 620 million have been acquired by Fondium B.V. & Co. KG, Mettmann. GF remains a 20% investor for a transition period. Both parties agreed not to disclose the transaction price. Fondium B.V. & Co. KG has been founded by three current managers of GF Casting Solutions, Achim Schneider, Arnd Potthoff and Matthias Blumentrath. The three Executives have together more than 40 years of experience in the industry. The new owners will continue all operating activities at the facilities.
Yves Serra, GF CEO, comments: “The reshaping of its portfolio will allow GF Casting Solutions to better leverage opportunities in light vehicle structures and aircraft engine components. With Fondium we found a partner whose owners have an extensive expertise in the casting business, able to ensure continuity for our customers and secure the further development of the two companies outside of GF.”
Achim Schneider, co-owner and spokesman of the Fondium Group, states: “With Fondium we create an agile, owner-operated automotive supplier with a clear market focus. We are looking forward to creating a successful future together with our 2 000 employees.”