China's Wolong buys ATB Group for $138m

Updated: 2011-10-21 10:02


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VIENNA-- China's Wolong Holding Group Co Ltd announced here Thursday that its acquisition of the insolvent Austrian electric motor manufacturer ATB Group has been basically completed, with a transaction amount of 100.5 million euros (about $137.83 million).

It's another major investment activity of Chinese enterprises in Austria after Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Co Ltd acquired Austria's Future Advanced Composite Components (FACC) in December, 2009, and the largest acquisition implemented by Chinese enterprises in Austria.

According to the merger plan, all shares and debt of ATB Group, held by Austria's A-TEC Industries AG, have been sold to Chinese Wolong Group and former CEO of ATB Group Christian Schmidt remains in office.

Wolong's Executive Vice President and Vice President of board of supervisors of ATB Wang Jianqiao said at a press conference that, after the acquisition, Wolong Group will supplement needed funds for ATB's operation and achieve the operational integrity in sales, purchasing, logistics, quality and other aspects, relying on own economic strength.

Wolong will also set up a research and development centre in Europe to accelerate new product development and achieve the goal of synchronize development of Wolong and ATB, he added.

Some local media expressed concern about cutbacks in personnel in ATB or relocation of ATB's facilities after the acquisition.

In this regard, Wolong's Board Chairman Chen Jiancheng said, Wolong's purchase of Austria's ATB Group was not just to maintain its existence but also to make it grow. Moreover, Wolong has no tradition of cutting down the staff.

Wolong will not only promote the further development of ATB Group, but will also remain ATB's manufacturing bases unchanged in Europe, he added.

Schmidt noted in the interview with Xinhua that he was very optimistic about the prospects for the future development of ATB.

He believed that technical complementary and the share of market resources, in addition that Wolong has full understanding of the business, must be able to solve the problems occurred in ATB's operation before, expand the global market and form Wolong-ATB into a world famous electric motor manufacturer.

Wolong Holding Group Co Ltd was founded in 1984, which is a private enterprise engaging in electric industry, real estate and international trade. Wolong owns over 8,000 staff and its annual turnover has reached 10 billion RMB (about $1.57 billion) in 2010.

ATB Group is a well-known Austrian electric motor manufacturer in Europe, which exports its products mainly to other European countries. Over the past decade, ATB has acquired many electric motor manufacturers in Europe, including the best known brands: Shorch, Laulence Scotte, Morley and Brook.

Currently, ATB owns more than 3,000 staff and 10 manufacturing bases in five European countries. In October 2010, the former shareholders of ATB, the A-TEC Industries AG, entered into bankruptcy protection because of inability to pay debts and resulted financial distress of its subsidiary ATB.