German auto maker BMW takes 15% stake in SGL Carbon

18 November 2011 14:51  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--German luxury car maker BMW has acquired a 15.16% stake in SGL Carbon in order to further strengthen its focus on the use of lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastics, it said on Friday.

BMW and SGL are already partners in a joint venture that operates a carbon fibre manufacturing plant at Moses Lake in Washington state in the US.

“Lightweight construction will play an increasingly important role in the automobile industry in the future,” said BMW board member Friedrich Eichiner.

“Our stakeholding in the SGL is a logical step that will further strengthen our successful cooperation,” he added.

In a statement, BMW said it currently does not plan to seek representation on SGL’s supervisory board. It did not disclose how much it paid for the stake.

BMW joins German billionaire Susanne Klatten and car maker Volkswagen (VW) as major investors in Wiesbaden-based SGL. 

Klatten holds more than 25% of SGL, given her a “blocking stake” to veto major strategic proposals at SGL. She also holds a stake in BMW and owns German specialty chemicals firm Altana.

VW said previously that it views its 8% stake in SGL – acquired in March this year – as a financial investment.

However, German industry commentators said BMW seems to have gained the upper hand over VW in gaining access to SGL’s carbon fibre technologies and lightweight materials.

Lightweight materials such as carbon fibre, which is used in the aircraft industry, are seen as critical for the development and commercialisation of electric vehicles.

SGL’s share price was up by 4.2% at €44.98/share ($60.78/share) at 14:30 local time on Germany’s XETRA stock exchange.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on SGL Carbon and other producers, visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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