Taiwanese electronic display manufacturer AUO has signed an agreement to acquire Behr-Hella Thermocontrol (BHTC), a joint venture between Hella GmbH & Company and Mahle, for a reported EUR600m in cash. The two companies each own 50% of the JV.
BHTC is a global manufacturer of automotive thermal management systems including heating and air conditioning, and related control panels and is a major supplier to the German vehicle industry worldwide, including VW Group, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as Nissan, Honda and other automakers. It has factories in Europe, North America, India and China and generated EUR620m revenue in 2022.
According to local reports, the Taipei listed company had signed an agreement to acquire Hella’s 50% stake in the joint venture with Mahle-Behr also having agreed to sell its slice. The acquisition was subject to approval by the relevant overseas trade and antitrust authorities and not expected to be completed until mid 2024.
The acquisition would provide AUO with a strong platform to expand its presence in the global automotive sector by acquiring an ongoing business and premium-segment customer, with potential to integrate additional intelligent cockpit features and more sophisticated displays. The company is particularly interested in expanding into the electric vehicle (EV) smart, connected cockpit segment.
AUO chairman Paul Peng said: “Acquiring BHTC is significant for AUO’s expansion in the automotive market which is an area with strong growth potential”, adding it also represented a major opportunity for the company to diversify away from the flat panel business which is famous for its boom and bust cycles.
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