Webasto Takeover of Edscha CDS Concluded

Following approval from the cartel authorities, Webasto-Edscha Cabrio has now been launched on January 1, 2010

Jan 04, 2010, 08:00 ET from Webasto AG

STOCKDORF, Germany and MUNICH, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The German cartel authorities have given their approval to the acquisition of the assets of the Edscha Convertible Roof Systems (CDS) business unit by Webasto AG, automotive supplier for roof and thermal systems. This means that the purchase agreement concluded between Webasto and Dr. Jorg Nerlich, insolvency administrator of Edscha AG back in early August 2009, has become effective. Therefore Webasto AG is in a position to merge its Convertible Business Unit with Edscha CDS under a wholly owned subsidiary. Webasto-Edscha Cabrio has started its operations on January 1, 2010.

"Probably the most serious crisis in the automotive industry has accelerated the consolidation of our industry. Our objective was to steer Webasto safely through the crisis. Besides that we wanted to take an active role in that consolidation, "said Franz-Josef Kortum, Chairman of the Management Board of Webasto AG. "By combining our convertible business unit with the one of Edscha, we have taken a decisive step for Webasto to maintain our long-term business in this market segment."

Headquarters of Webasto-Edscha Cabrio is located in Hengersberg. The management team is led by Axel Schulmeyer (Chairman). Coming into force on January 2010 the merged convertible business units of Webasto and Edscha are representing sales of about 320 million Euros in 2009, generated by a workforce of approx. 1,350 employees at seven locations. Customers now have the opportunity for one-stop shopping for convertible roof systems. That is due to the combined and highly specialized expertise in R&D and production and the probably widest product portfolio in the industry. "Regardless of whether we deliver niche models or high volume vehicles, soft-tops or retractable hardtops, we are aiming to become the world's most capable and visionary supplier of convertible roof systems," said Dr. Holger Engelmann, the member of Management Board with responsibility for the Convertible, Roof & Body Business Division at Webasto. "Thanks to Axel Schulmeyer, his management team and all convertible staff, we've got a highly skilled team in place."

The R&D center of convertible roof systems will be out of Germany. Convertible production of Webasto Group takes place at plants in Europe (6), Japan (1) and for a new project in Mexico. Future projects will be produced close to our global customer plants.

Under the merger Edscha Convertible Roof Systems will retain proven structures but with the added benefit of Webasto expertise: for instance, all plants will see the gradual deployment of the successful Webasto production system. "I am confident that we'll be using the strengths of all our plants for the success of the merger between the Webasto and Edscha convertible business units," said Axel Schulmeyer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the new Webasto-Edscha Cabrio. "It will be a good safeguard for our company being under the roof of a traditional and robust family enterprise."

About Webasto-Edscha Cabrio:

Webasto-Edscha Cabrio is a leading supplier of convertible roof systems and part of the Webasto Group. Coming into force on January 2010 the merged convertible business units of Webasto and Edscha are representing sales of about 320 million Euros for 2009, generated by a workforce of approx. 1,350 employees. Its core competencies cover R&D and production of complete soft-tops and retractable hardtops for convertible roof systems. Further details from: http://www.webasto.com/cabrio

About Webasto:

Webasto AG headquartered in Stockdorf near Munich has been a family-owned business ever since the company was founded in 1901. It has about 6,700 employees at 50 international locations and is specialized in the Convertible, Roof & Body (CRB) and Global Comfort Solutions (GCS) business divisions. With expected 2009 sales of about 1.2 billion Euros (without Edscha CDS), Webasto is one of the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide. The company's core competencies include R&D and production of convertible, roof and body systems as well as heating, cooling and ventilation systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. You will find further information at: www.webasto.com