Friday, 21 July 2017

Otto Bock Kunststoff under a new flag

Otto Bock Kunststoff at its headquarter in Duderstadt in Lower-Saxony

Conzzeta to expand its business worldwide

DUDERSTADT/ZURICH. Otto Bock Holding GmbH & Co. KG is selling its foam business to the Conzzeta Group from Switzerland. Both sides signed the binding agreement on 20 July in Frankfurt am Main. Thus Otto Bock Kunststoff is getting a new owner with the objective of expanding the PUR foam business worldwide. Conzzeta’s FoamPartner business area is one of the leading suppliers in this field. The transaction is expected to be finalised in the second half of 2017, pending approval by the cartel authorities.

“In view of our group’s strategic direction, we only considered premium partners who are familiar with the foam business and committed to lasting growth – and therefore also to the further development of the Duderstadt location. We are pleased to have found the ideal buyer with a long-term orientation in Conzzeta, and are convinced that joining with FoamPartner is also in the best interest of the employees,” says Professor Hans Georg Näder, President of Otto Bock Holding GmbH & Co. KG.

Michael Willome, CEO of the Conzzeta Group with more than 4,000 employees, comments: “This transaction is another consistent step in the internationalisation of the Conzzeta Group. Expanding our presence in Asia and North America opens up additional opportunities for growth. With Ottobock’s largely complementary product portfolio, we are able to nearly double the sales of FoamPartner, thereby considerably strengthening our market position.”

Hans Georg Näder announced back in October of 2016 that strategic options for the Kunststoff division were being examined. The subsidiary with over 430 employees generated sales of around EUR 130 million in 2016. Its business with foams, foam components and foam systems for the automobile industry among others is highly profitable. Otto Bock Holding GmbH & Co. KG is focusing even more closely on the med-tech sector going forward. Ottobock announced a long-term partnership with the Swedish private equity firm EQT recently in June, intended to boost the company’s growth.

“Our strategy calls for even faster sustainable and profitable growth. The partnership with EQT is a forward-looking step towards achieving this objective even more quickly thanks to additional know-how and financial leeway. Strategically we are focusing even more on our core business as the global market leader in orthopaedics technology. We are consistently pursuing our plan with the sale of the Foam division,” says Näder.

With the sale of Otto Bock Kunststoff based in Duderstadt, Lower Saxony, the joint venture of Ottobock and FoamPartner located in Shanghai (China) is also being transferred fully to the ownership of the Swiss company, thereby enabling further growth. Each company held 50 per cent to date. Conzzeta is also taking over the production sites in Rochester Hills (USA) and Changzhou (China).

On the other hand, the Technogel business and the start-up matrazzo are excluded from the transaction as previously announced. Both of these companies remain part of Otto Bock Holding GmbH & Co. KG and their strategic further development will be pursued. Otto Bock Kunststoff was founded by Dr Max Näder as a start-up in Duderstadt 64 years ago.

The two sides have agreed to maintain confidentiality regarding the purchase price.

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Mark C. Schneider

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