French auto parts supplier Plastic Omnium SA is selling its environment business to an investment firm to focus solely on its auto supply operations.
The Paris-based company is a major plastics molder, with injection molding and blow molding. It makes exterior plastic parts such as bumpers, tailgates, spoilers and fenders, while its fuel systems business blow molds fuel tanks and is increasing its investments in parts for hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles.
It was the No. 4 blow molder in North America in the most recent Plastics News ranking, with more than $1 billion in estimated sales. In injection molding, it was ranked at No. 15 with $475 million in estimated North American sales.
In June, it completed its buyout of a former partner in HBPO GmbH, taking a majority stake in that business, which molds and assembles front-end modules, an area it said offers more opportunities.
Hella Behr Plastic Omnium was formed as an equal partnership in 2004 among automotive suppliers Hella GmbH & Co. KgaA, Plastic Omnium SA and Behr GmbH & Co. KG. In March 2018, German supplier Mahle GmbH, which became a majority owner of the Behr Group in 2013, announced plans to sell its shares in the joint venture to Plastic Omnium. Lighting specialist Hella still holds 33.33 percent of the shares.
Globally, HBPO produces more than 5.7 million units annually, reporting sales of more than $2.3 billion in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.
"Growth potential has been strengthened by the takeover ... of HBPO, the world leader for front-end modules," Plastic Omnium noted in its July 20 financial report covering the first half of the 2018 fiscal year.
HBPO recently announced increased investments in North America, including an ongoing search for a front-end module assembly plant in Michigan.