Webasto, the retractable hard top and vehicle heating systems specialist, is merging its roof division with Edscha Cabrio Dachsysteme (CDS) the soft top unit of bankrupt Edscha.

Webasto said in a statement it plans to maintain manufacturing sites and jobs at the new company run by Edscha.

The agreement with Edscha’s administrator was reached last night and is subject to regulatory approval.

“With Edscha, we are consistently expanding our technological expertise in convertible roof systems”, said Webasto chairman Franz-Josef Kortüm.

“With the combination of Edscha’s expertise, especially in the soft top segment, and our product portfolio which has a stronger focus on retractable hard tops, we will be well-positioned in the future in all convertible roof segments”.

The purchase price is not being revealed and a detailed integration plan is being developed.

Edscha CDS currently has around 1,200 employees and Webasto is planning to fold in its own convertible business unit and 400 employees to form a new company.

Edscha CDS has facilities in Hengersberg and Regensburg while Velky Meder, Slovakia, and Coventry, UK, will be retained. To achieve this Webasto management offered the insolvency administrator a guarantee for both German sites.

“We will be happy if we can offer the highly qualified and competent employees of Edscha long-term and solid prospects in the future by becoming part of a family-owned company” said the firm’s Franz-Josef Kortüm.