There were three acquisitions in the business year 2014/15: by the Wire business segment of the Metal Engineering Division, by the Turnout Systems business segment, and by the Rail Technology business segment.
The third quarter saw the 100% takeover of the leading Italian manufacturer of special wire Trafilerie Industriali S.p.A. The company, which is headquartered in Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy, specializes in the production of drawn wire. It has 80 employees and in 2013, it generated revenue of EUR 43.8 million with a production volume of around 50,000 tons of special wire. With this acquisition, voestalpine Wire Technology GmbH is expanding its product range of both drawn and blank wire, is broadening the value chain in the premium quality segment for the automotive industry even further, and is also strengthening its market position in Italy.
The fourth quarter of the business year saw the takeover of the Australian company Bathurst Rail Fabrication Centre (BRFC) in Bathurst, which enables the Turnout Systems business segment to expand its already leading market position down under. The specialist for high quality, welded rails, turnouts, and track components has around 47 employees; in the most recent business year, the company generated an annual revenue of around EUR 34 million. By acquiring BRFC, which is one of the five largest railway system providers in Australia, the Turnout Systems business segment has expanded its Australian product and customer portfolio relative to the passenger and mass transit sectors and, at the same time, it is enhancing its position in the heavy-haul sector that is particularly important.
As far as divestments are concerned, the business year 2014/15 saw a significant streamlining of the Metal Forming Division’s portfolio. The first divestment took place in the second quarter with the sale of the Flamco Group to the Dutch industrial company Aalberts Industries N.V. The main reason for the sale was the lack of synergies within the Metal Forming Division; a secondary reason was the Flamco Group’s increasing deviation from the voestalpine Group’s strategic core business. The Flamco Group develops and produces high-quality components for heating and drinking water installations and sells them worldwide. It has just over 700 employees and most recently, it generated annual revenue of around EUR 125 million.
In the third quarter, the Metal Forming Division sold two companies in the Automotive Body Parts business segment, namely, voestalpine Polynorm Van Niftrik B.V. and voestalpine Polynorm Plastics B.V. (jointly “voestalpine Plastics Solutions”). This sale was also part of the division’s strategic portfolio streamlining. The primary reason for the sale to the Austrian Polytec Group was the fact that the activities of voestalpine Plastics Solutions no longer represented a core segment of the strategy that the Group is consistently implementing. The two Dutch Group companies, which have around 700 employees, jointly generated revenue of around EUR 120 million in the business year 2013/14. They supply their customers, especially European OEMs, with underbody paneling, acoustic, and exterior components made of plastics.