Transaction completed: ROLF BENZ and KUKA commit to “Made in Germany” production and market investment
Nagold, 17 May 2018. On 1 March this year, the Stadtlohn-based Hüls Group announced that it had sold its 99.92% stake in Rolf Benz AG & Co. KG and a 100% stake in RB Management AG (the sole general partner of Rolf Benz AG & Co. KG) held by LoCom GmbH & Co. KG on 28 February 2018. The buyer is the Chinese company Kuka Investment and Management Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Hangzhou-based Jason Furniture (China). Following approval by the Chinese and German authorities, the shares will be transferred to the buyer at today’s close, thereby completing the sale of the companies.
The KUKA Group is one of the leading players on the Chinese furniture market. It recorded a turnover of €850 million in 2017 with a 12% net profit, achieved with a workforce of some 10,000. The company currently has a market capitalisation of €4 Billion on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
“We are very proud of our success and are extremely happy to welcome the premium brand ROLF BENZ and its 454 employees on board,” explains Gu Jiangsheng, Chairman of the KUKA Group. In a letter to all ROLF BENZ employees, Gu Jiangsheng continues:
“It is very important for us to assure you that we will fully respect ROLF BENZ’s brand DNA. ‘Made in Germany‘ represents a major asset to us, which we intend to fully uphold in the future as well. We need each and every ROLF BENZ employee to enable us to continue to be this successful. We are therefore all the more delighted that the entire management team intends to remain on board.”
Jürgen Mauß, Chairman of ROLF BENZ, explains: “The KUKA Group is a highly professional company, which acts in a considered manner. KUKA fully understands that a luxury brand, such as ROLF BENZ, is inextricably linked to ‘Made in Germany’ production. KUKA’s managers have repeatedly stated this since our initial exploratory discussions.”
The Hüls Group comments on the transaction as follows: “The reason behind the Group passing Rolf Benz into the hands of Kuka was to secure the dynamic growth of Rolf Benz in future, particularly on the international market,” confirms Ludwig Hüls, owner and Chief Executive of the Hüls Group.
Jürgen Mauß continues: “ROLF BENZ thus has the best chance to drive forward growth and profitability in the exclusive premium segment. Rolf Benz’s export share is currently almost 50%. A strong partner like KUKA provides us with totally new and first-class access to the Chinese and Asian market. This new configuration also enables us to be more comprehensively active in the commercial sector as well.”
This is a course of action confirmed by Gu Jiangsheng: “KUKA intends to increase investment in the ROLF BENZ brand – and not just financially. We can support them with our knowledge and network of the Chinese market. We are confident that this will enable ROLF BENZ to grow more quickly and more profitably in the Chinese market as well as in other markets.”
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