Mahle has announced it now holds around 90% of the shares in Kokusan Denki, a Japanese company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, after a successful public tender offer. It says the move strengthens its presence in the mechatronics sector.

Mechatronics specialist Kokusan Denki develops and manufactures electric DC motors for ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) units, as well as BLDC motors for steering assistance (brushless DC motors). Kokusan Denki also develops electric motors for additional applications in Mahle's core markets for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and industrial applications.

Kokusan Denki was founded in 1931 and now achieves sales of approximately EUR130m a year with over 800 employees. Kokusan Denki has locations in Numazu, Gotemba, and Akita in Japan and in Samut Prakan in Thailand, as well as financial participations in China and India. In 2013, Mahle's holding was 30.82%; this share was then increased to 38.87% at the start of 2014.

Now that the relevant antitrust authorities have given their approval for the takeover and the control over the company has been secured, Kokusan Denki is to be fully integrated in the group as the "Electric Drives and Applications 2" profit centre.

A second major division of Kokusan Denki comprises ignition components, alternators, and fuel injection systems for small engines, which are essentially used in motorcycles, small commercial vehicles, and recreational vehicles. The market for these two-, three-, and four-wheeled vehicles is already extremely large and will continue to grow in coming years.

Mahle says that Kokusan Denki complements the activities of Mahle Letrika. The Letrika Group was acquired by Mahle in the fall of 2014 and now forms the "Electric Drives and Applications" profit centre within the Mahle Group.

With this new branch of activity in Asia, Mahle says it is expanding its footprint and product portfolio in the strategically important growth area of mechatronics, where sales of EUR500m are targeted in the medium term.

In Mahle's core markets, the demand for emission-reducing technologies is increasing constantly, the company says. Alongside the optimisation of conventional powertrains, mechatronic and electrical components are taking on an ever more important role.

"Mahle and Kokusan Denki have already successfully collaborated on several projects. As a globally positioned group, Mahle can now continue to drive forward the further development of the products and portfolio of Kokusan Denki as well as the access to new markets," said Prof. Heinz K. Junker, Chairman of the Mahle Management Board.

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