Kickstart: Some Hella big M&A news

There’s been an interesting M&A battle happening between suppliers of automotive Plastic components in Europe.The founding family owners of Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. of Lippstadt, Germany, a maker of automotive lighting, to French auto supplier Faurecia SA.Faurecia was up against two other global automotive plastics suppliers, Plastic Omnium, also based in France, and Germany’s Mahle Group.While Mahle has more recognition as a maker of engine systems, filtration and mechatronics, it does have exposure to plastics operations through its heating and air conditioning products.”By combining their activities, Hella and Faurecia will become the seventh-largest global automotive supplier,” the company said in a news release. “This opens up significant potential for further profitable growth. Hella and Faurecia today already are global market leaders in their respective fields. By combining their respective strengths [they] aim to further expand their market position, particularly in key growth areas.”Lighting has come a long way since LEDs took over in that business segment, making Hella a more valuable commodity in the bidding. What was once seen as a basic functional piece of the car is now a key design element for individual brands and nameplates.“This combination is a unique opportunity to create a global leader in automotive technologies,” Faurecia CEO Patrick Koller said in the release. “Together, we will have the critical edge to benefit from the strategic drivers that are transforming the automotive industry.” When it comes to rebranding, KraussMaffei Group’s decision to bring back the Netstal name isn’t exactly on the level of “New Coke” or “Crystal Pepsi.” But it’s still a lesson on not messing with something familiar., Munich-based KraussMaffei announced that it would rename its Näfels, Switzerland-based KraussMaffei High Performance AG business unit as Netstal, to eliminate the Netstal-Maschinen AG name for the business.(Netstal remained a name on the machines.)”With this step, we are taking into account the wishes of our customers and reuniting the Netstal brand and the Netstal organization under a common name. We are convinced that in the future Netstal will be able to respond to customers and their applications with even greater focus than before and offer them the added value for which the Netstal brand has stood for many decades,” KraussMaffei CEO Michael Ruf said in a news release. Is it possible to turn discarded plastic film into lumber more efficiently?That’s the question before of Nebraska. The Omaha company says it can reduce costs and simplify operations by building an integrated operation to sort, process and recycle plastic films as well as manufacture new plastic lumber at one location.”The less transportation in any situation is going to be better for everybody. The closer to the source of the collection that we can put the material into a higher-value application, the better,” said Steve Sikra, vice president and head of the Americas for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which is backing the Firstar project.Firstar handles about 100,000 tons of recycled materials each year, including plastics, Plastics News staffer Jim Johnson writes. CEO Dale Gubbels sees the new project as a potential way to help overcome market obstacles currently standing in the way of profitably recycling certain plastics.The Firstar project could break down barriers to increased recycling and improve markets for hard-to-recycle plastics, he said. Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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