Sarna Group has agreed to sell its remaining European auto parts subsidiaries, Sarnamotive Schenk GmbH in Germany and the Czech company Sarnamotive Bohemia s.r.o., to German private equity firm Argantis GmbH.
Argantis of Cologne will retain the operations' combined 490-strong workforce and intends to continue component production at both sites, according to Sarnen, Switzerland-based Sarna.
The disposal follows hard on the heels of Sarna's announcement a week earlier that it sold its U.S. automotive parts subsidiary, Sarnamotive America, including Sarnamotive Blue Water Inc. of Marysville, Mich., to private equity group KPS Special Situations Fund II of New York.
The Swiss company reported that the U.S. automotive operations recorded ``a considerable loss'' in the first half of 2005. Following its disposal of all its automotive businesses by the end of 2005, the company forecast it would be in a break-even position.
The Bohemia operation, located in Liberec, Czech Republic, was the first Sarnamotive venture in Eastern Europe launched in 2003. It gradually took on labor-intensive assembly work, switched from Germany when Sarna closed two of four plants it ran in Ludenscheid.
Equipped with Krauss-Maffei injection presses, the Czech plant molds and assembles components for customers including Volkswagen AG, Skoda Auto a.s., BMW AG, Audi AG and Daimler-Chrysler Corp. The unit employs around 130. The Schenk operation is based in Esslingen, Germany.
Sarna sold its Swiss Sarnamotive operations in December 2004, and this year it announced the sale of its Ludenscheid-based Sarnamotive Paulmann & Crone subsidiary in June to industrial holding group Bavaria Industriekapital AG of Munich, Germany.
The sale of all its automotive interests was designed to leave it free to concentrate on its successful Sarnafil division, which manufactures plastics-based construction products.
Restructuring is virtually complete, but Sarna still has to dispose of its lone British automotive-linked operation, Sarnatech BNL Ltd. of Knaresborough, England.