SGL Carbon SE is acquiring the BMW Group's 49 percent equity investment in joint ventures SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers GmbH based in Germany and the U.S.-based SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC, to become the sole owner of SGL ACF.
The company announced Nov. 24 that the purchase was in line with its strategy to supply “every step of the carbon fiber value chain from a single source,” adding that its cooperation with the German automotive group BMW on the supply of carbon fiber materials would continue.
Praising the joint work carried out with BMW in lightweighting cars, Jürgen Köhler, chief executive officer of SGL Group, said the carbon fibers made at SGL's plant in Moses Lake and the fabrics produced at the Wackersdorf site had “proven very successful.”
“It is now time to fully integrate this expertise into SGL Group's value chain," he added.
The acquisition will not change the supply of materials to BMW, however.
“SGL Group is and will remain a major supplier and strategic partner in this regard,” explained Markus Duesmann, member of the board of management at BMW AG with responsibility for purchasing and supplier network.
BMW Group, he went on to say, will continue to rely on lightweight construction and an intelligent mix of materials, with carbon remaining a significant component.
BMW Group has entered into an agreement with SGL Group to continue to work together on future projects involving the use of carbon.
The SGL ACF joint venture was founded in 2009 with the aim of establishing the use of carbon as a lightweight construction material in the automotive industry and securing the supply of carbon fibers and fabrics for BMW Group.
Carbon fibers and carbon fiber materials are at the core of SGL Group's corporate strategy.
With the acquisition, the group is advancing its strategy to consolidate all key activities in the value chain – from carbon fibers and materials to components – within the group.
As part of this strategy, the group also acquired the 50 percent share of Benteler Carbon Composites Beteiligungs-GmbH, in the Benteler-SGL GmbH JV.
The JV worked on an initiative to develop “unprecedented integrated concept” for innovative interior structures based on composite materials.
Ready for large-scale production, the “Carbon Carrier” technology combines lightweight fiber compounds and integrated functionality, using material mix in the automotive industry.