2007-04-24

Aebi Group and Schmidt Group merge

 

The shareholders of the Aebi Group and Schmidt Group have agreed to merge their companies. The consolidation will give rise to a powerful new consortium that will be able to enjoy sustained success on the world markets. The majority shareholder of the new consortium will be the Thurgau entrepreneur Peter Spuhler. The BWK GmbH Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft company, formerly the majority shareholder in Schmidt, has a minority shareholding in the new entity. The holding headquarters of the new Aebi Schmidt Group will be Bussnang (Thurgau). With a workforce of approx. 1,700 it will target a total turnover of approx. CHF 500 million. High-quality products will continue to be produced at the existing sites, an assurance made by the owners of the Aebi Schmidt Group to the European sites in general and with specific reference to those in Switzerland and Germany.

Strategic decision

Today the AEBI Group and SCHMIDT Groups both produce excellent agricultural, municipal and winter road maintenance vehicles for an international market. In order to be able to make the most of the opportunities and challenges of this interesting globally expanding market sector, the shareholders of both companies have agreed to the merger and the founding of the AEBI-SCHMIDT Group. The amalgamation is subject to the authorisation of the cartel authorities.

The merger brings together two strong companies and will provide the new group with an improved competitive advantage and strategic positioning on the international playing field: this will facilitate synergies in Development and Production, and Sales and Service in particular. These synergies will allow the group to continue to offer a product portfolio focussed on customer needs and to build up and extend its leading role with the products on offer and the markets supplied.

Customers' requirements in the foreground

Peter Spuhler, majority shareholder and SVP representative on the National Council, confirms that the new owners will continue to keep customers' product requirements in the foreground: "In the future the well-known products supplied by the AEBI and SCHMIDT Groups will continue to be distinguished by their quality, economic viability, performance and innovative strength, so that they can compete successfully in the tough international competitive environment."

The owners

The merger will also necessitate a change to the shareholder structure. The current owners of the AEBI Group and the majority shareholder of the SCHMIDT Group will remain partners in the new group. New appointments to the board of directors will be: majority shareholder Peter Spuhler (Board President), Gero Büttiker, Hans Ruedi Geel, Peter Muri and a representative of BWK GmbH Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft

The Schmidt Group

The Schmidt Group are leaders in the fields of winter road maintenance technology (snow clearance machines, snowploughs and spreaders), environmental cleaning technology (street cleaning, municipal cleaning equipment and road sweepers), railway engineering (snow clearance) and automotive engineering (electronics and software, equipment and hydraulics, vehicle modifications).The company has its headquarters in St. Blasien (Germany), and with a workforce of approx. 1,200 achieves a turnover of approx. CHF 360 million. It has production sites in Germany, Netherlands and Poland, as well as 15 separate distributorships and an international dealership network. The distribution and marketing-related collaboration with MULAG Fahrzeugwerk Heinz Wössner GmbH & Co. KG, whose owner Werner Wössner has given up his minority holding in SCHMIDT, is planned to continue.

The Aebi Group

The Aebi Group is the leading manufacturer of mechanical systems for the management and maintenance of steep slopes and particularly challenging terrain, as well as the clearing of transport routes at all times of year. It concentrates on the development, production and global marketing of equipment carriers and single-purpose machines, and maintains a close working relationship with manufacturers of high-quality accessories and equipment. Customers come from agriculture, the local authority sector and rural conservation. With approx. 440 employees, the AEBI-Group generates a turnover of approx. CHF 120 million. The company's current headquarters are in Burgdorf, and it has production sites in Burgdorf (Switzerland), Hochdorf (Switzerland) and Schwanberg/Graz (Austria).

The future prospects of the Aebi Schmidt Group

The new Aebi Schmidt Group will restructure its business divisions. The Group will be led by Group Management, which will be divided into two divisions: "Agriculture" and "Municipal". The new organisation will ensure that responsibilities and decision paths are clearly and succinctly structured, with flat hierarchies guaranteeing the Group's quick responsiveness and close customer relations.

 

For further information please contact:

Vincenza Trivigno
General secretary

Telephone : +41 (0) 71 / 6 26 20 34
Mobile: +41 (0) 79 / 4 30 69 68
Fax: +41 (0) 71 / 6 26 20 28
E-Mail: vincenza.trivigno@stadlerrail.ch

STADLER Rail AG
Bahnhofplatz
9565 Bussnang
Switzerland

 

Aebi Schmidt Holding AG
Zürcherstrasse 310
CH-8500 Frauenfeld