Friedrichshafen. The antitrust authorities have given the go-ahead: On December 1, 2015 ZF will officially take over the industrial gears and wind turbine gearbox business from Bosch Rexroth AG. 1 200 employees altogether at the Witten, Beijing, and Lake Zurich (USA) locations will thus join the technology company. For ZF, the acquisition is an entry into the business with large industrial gears that are used in oil rigs, mine vehicles, tunnel drilling machines, or cableways, for instance. The various product lines will be brought together in the new ZF Industrial Gears business unit based in Witten, Germany. The company is also strengthening its wind turbine gearbox business.
“With the newly created Industrial Gears business unit we literally intend to get things moving on a large scale,” says the ZF Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stefan Sommer. “We are extending our portfolio with large transmissions for industrial applications and mobile machinery through to tunnel drilling machines, and 600-ton mining excavators. The product range will also be extended in the Wind Power Technology business unit with gearboxes for turbines generating up to eight megawatts.”
With the transaction 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 approximately 300 employees, as well as the service location in Lake Zurich (USA) with some 15 employees. At all three locations celebrations for the official acquisition and the first day under the umbrella of the ZF Group were held on December 1.
Two newly founded companies will be added to the Industrial Gears business unit in the guise of ZF Industrieantriebe Witten GmbH and the ZF Powertrain Systems (Beijing) Co., Ltd. Witten is the headquarters for the business unit, which is not only home to Administration and Production, but also to the Development, and Sales departments for large gearbox technologies (industrial gears and wind turbine gearboxes). Witten is also the production location of ZF's existing Wind Power Technology business unit which is headquartered in Lommel, Belgium. At the Beijing location, gearboxes for ZF's wind power segment are being produced; as a result, the company is further extending its presence in the important wind gearbox market in China.
ZF appointed Christoph Kainzbauer, an experienced manager in the field of large gearbox technology, to head up the Industrial Gears business unit. He was previously responsible for global Sales of Bosch Rexroth's large gearbox segment. The new business unit includes the product lines transmissions for mining applications and large construction machinery, transmissions for offshore and marine applications, transmissions for industrial plants and equipment as well as for cableways.
“We see ideal future opportunities for the Industrial Technology division, especially in wind power technology,” explains Wilhelm Rehm, responsible for Corporate Materials Management and Industrial Technology on the ZF Board of Management. "Strengthening ZF's non-automotive segment is an important objective of our long-term corporate strategy. We are supplementing our industrial technology portfolio optimally, while also opening up access to new markets and customer groups,” says Rehm.
The two companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. In 2014, Bosch Rexroth generated sales of approximately EUR 300 million with the large gearbox business. In the same year, ZF generated roughly twelve percent of its Group sales with the Industrial Technology division in which the company bundles its off-road activities. This figure should rise over the long term.