ZF To Acquire Gearbox Business From Bosch Rexroth

Deal boosts wind segment, marks entry into industrial gears

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ZF Friedrichshafen AG will take over the large gearbox business of Bosch Rexroth AG with more than 1,200 employees. For ZF, the acquisition is an entry into the business with industrial gears that are used in oil rigs, mine vehicles, tunnel drilling machines, or cableways, for instance. In addition, the technology company is strengthening its wind turbine gearbox business. The acquisition agreement signed on May 13 is still subject to the approval of antitrust authorities. The companies agreed to not disclose financial details.

“Strengthening our non-automotive segment is an important objective of our long-term corporate strategy,” said ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer. “The acquisition of the industrial gears and wind turbine gearbox segments of Bosch Rexroth AG is an excellent supplement to our Industrial Technology portfolio and opens up new customer groups.”

In 2014, Bosch Rexroth generated sales of approximately EUR 300 million with the large gearbox business. In the same year, ZF generated roughly 12 percent of its Group sales with the Industrial Technology division in which the company bundles its off-road activities. This share is expected to grow in the long term.

ZF is taking over the two production locations of Bosch Rexroth AG in Witten (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) with almost 900 employees and in Beijing (China) with more than 300 employees, as well as the service location in Lake Zurich (USA) with approximately 15 employees — totaling more than 1,200 employees. The primary plant in Witten is not only home to production, but also to the administration, development, and sales departments for large gearbox technologies (industrial gears and wind turbine gearboxes); in Beijing, Bosch Rexroth exclusively produces wind turbine gearboxes. At both locations as well as in Lake Zurich, the company offers its customers support services.

“We are confident that our large gearbox business will benefit from ZF’s transmission expertise, and be able to make the best possible use of its growth opportunities in the new unit to be created at ZF,” said Karl Tragl, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth. He added that Bosch Rexroth has successfully advanced the business in recent years. “We have specifically broadened our product range with the development of the new wind turbine gearboxes for the weak wind segment,” said Tragl. Going forward, Bosch Rexroth will focus more intensively on the core business with industrial and mobile applications.

“We are looking forward to working together with experienced staff with more than 30 years of development and production know-how for wind turbine gearboxes and even over half a century of expertise in industrial gears,” said Wilhelm Rehm, responsible for corporate materials management, and industrial technology on the ZF Board of Management. “We take account of this by making Witten the headquarters of our new Industrial Drives business unit.”  

— Source: ZF