Sabic to buy stake in German auto JV
Berlin, September 18, 2011
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) said it has entered into an agreement to buy a major equity stake in Inpro, a German JV dedicated to collaborative innovation in automotive production.
The other equity partners in the group are Daimler, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp and Volkswagen, said a statement from the Saudi petrochemical giant.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year, it added.
Inpro is a leading developer of innovative technologies for lightweight manufacturing and zero-defect production of automobiles based in Berlin.
The group’s R&D focus includes the development of new production technologies for future electric and hybrid vehicles.
With the realization of new innovative computer-based software tools, Inpro aims to shorten time-to-market and enhance the overall energy efficiency of automotive production.
Since its founding in 1983, Berlin has been holding the shares in Inpro.
Sabic comes to the JV with 45 years of experience as an industry pioneer in automotive engineering plastics material technologies and application development, primarily through the dedicated automotive division of its innovative plastics strategic business unit, and will fully participate in Inpro’s joint innovation projects, said a top official.
“Through Inpro, Sabic can participate and add value in the early stages of innovation with world-class companies, who continue to develop and create new vehicles and processes that meet the interests of automakers and consumers around the world,” said Gregory A. Adams, VP, Innovative Plastics’ automotive division.
'We look forward to contributing to Inpro’s joint innovation projects to help produce the industry’s next generation of advanced vehicles using high-performance, lightweight materials,' he added.
Commenting on the deal, Inpro CEO Dr Gerd Eer said, 'With one of the world’s broadest thermoplastics portfolios, Sabic is a welcome addition to our business model of collaborative innovation.'
'Innovative materials are critical to the evolution and success of the automotive production process and are vital in lightweight component construction, increased fuel efficiency, high performance and lower production costs,' he added.
'We believe Inpro will be even better equipped in the future to innovate in lightweight material production systems with Sabic as a partner.”
Adam said joining the Inpro JV reflects Sabic’s decades-long record of proactive engagement with the industry to advance lightweight material innovation across the world and help OEM customers solve some of their most critical challenges.
Joachim von Heimburg, Sabic general manager of global innovation and corporate research programs, said, 'Today, more than ever before, breakthrough innovation is only possible through an ecosystem of interdependent industry leaders who know how to work together across the global value chain.'
'As such, Inpro is an excellent fit for us and serves as yet another example of how we engage in the kind of collaboration that is necessary to fuel and accelerate automotive innovation,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service