FRANKFURT Leading German car industry manufacturer Continental (CONG.DE) on Saturday announced it had bought Hornschuch, a maker of films, foam laminates and artificial leather for cars and other applications, to help it expand into other industry sectors.
Hornschuch, with sales of 410 million euros ($460 million) in 2015, has been owned since 2008 by the buyout group Equistone, formerly Barclays Private Equity.
Based in Weissbach, it has 1,800 employees and manufactures at four sites in Germany and the United States.
Continental will buy Hornschuch via its subsidiary Benecke-Kaliko. It said a contract had been signed on Saturday, but that the deal was subject to approval by antitrust authorities.
A spokeswoman said the purchase price would not be disclosed, and that the deal was likely to be closed by the end of the second quarter of 2017 at the latest.
Sources familiar with the transaction said in May that Hornschuch was likely to post earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 50 million euros this year, and could be sold at eight to nine times that figure.
They said at the time that South Korea's Daewon Chemical (024890.KS) and Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical (4188.T) might also be interested in buying the firm.
Board member Hans-Juergen Duensing, chief executive of Continental's rubber and plastics division ContiTech, said in the statement that the acquisition was strategically important and a logical step.
"Hornschuch generates more than half of its sales from industrial applications," he said.
"We are thereby consistently and sustainably strengthening our global business outside the automotive industry."
Benecke-Kaliko develops and manufactures surface materials for passenger and commercial vehicles, the off-highway sector and other industries at seven locations across the globe. It achieved a turnover of 550 million euros in 2015.
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Kevin Liffey)