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Investing in the future

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“MS Industrie’s strategy for creating wealth for its investors is to acquire majority stakes in profitable companies with high appreciation potential,” explains CEO Dr. Andreas Aufschnaiter. “The focus of our acquisitions has been mediumsized German businesses active in the areas of motors and welding equipment and complemented by selected participations in the industrial property sector.”

Founded under the name Gesellschaft für Consulting & Implementierung (GCI) in 1991, the company made the transition to a holding company in 2001 with an IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It has traded under the name MS Industrie AG since July 2012.

A core component of the company’s investment portfolio is MS Spaichingen GmbH, in which MS Industrie holds a stake of 94%. “As of this year, our share in MS Spaichingen will increase to 100%,” says Dr. Aufschnaiter. “This reflects our continued belief in the strength of the company and its products.”

MS Spaichingen has been a market leader in engine and welding technology since it was founded in 1965 and is now a valued supplier to leading names in the commercial vehicles sector such as MAN and Daimler, as well as the automotive supply industry.

The company’s sales figures are benefiting not just as a result of the wide variety of private car models but also as a result of the emphasis on the part of manufacturers on fuel economy in their vehicles. The increased use of plastic components and other strategies for weight reduction are playing to MS Spaichingen’s strengths.

“The engine technology division is currently performing extremely well largely due to the success of Daimler’s NEG OM 47X diesel engine for truck powertrains,” explains Dr. Aufschnaiter. “MS Spaichingen is the obvious choice of supplier as our valve systems are predestined for this engine.”

Daimler has already invested heavily in its production sites in Mannheim and Detroit to the tune of more than one billion EUR since 2002 for technical design and in order to prepare for production of this engine, which will conform to the new Euro VI norm, coming into effect in 2014. Presently it produces approximately 100,000 such engines each year, which promise to reduce diesel consumption in lorries and commercial vehicles by 7%.

The engine already conforms to Euro V standards and can be retrofitted from 2014. “This trend as a whole is responsible for our good order situation at the moment, and we expect to produce in the order of more than 200,000 components in the future,” adds Dr. Aufschnaiter.

Another success story is the company’s rocker systems, which are produced for MAN Trucks and which are responsible for its designation as a premium supplier. MS Spaichingen’s extensive inhouse expertise allows it to offer total solutions from a single source. Whether it is the processing of thinwalled aluminium housings, the production of complete axles, rocker systems or engine braking systems, the company promises to deliver to the customer’s production line just-in-sequence for optimal production efficiency. This expertise is not just confined to engine components.

MS Spaichingen’s welding technology division also specializes in sealing, joining and processing plastics for a range of interior trim components. “We are a leading provider of ultrasonic sealing technology in both Europe and the United States,” says Dr. Aufschnaiter. “Our technical know-how and high quality products have earned us a strong position as a systems developer, and OEM and Tier 1 supplier for the automotive industry and the entire production industry.”

MS Spaichingen’s activities in the North American market are supported by a production site in Webberville, Michigan, USA. In addition to using its welding technology in automotive applications, MS Spaichingen’s solutions are also used for the ultrasonic sealing of plastic packaging and can be integrated easily into both new and existing packaging lines to reduce costs and save on time and material consumption.

“Our innovative ultrasonic solutions perform sealing, cutting and slitting actions in a single process and offer the best possible seam qualities in a shorter time,” boasts Dr. Aufschnaiter. “Our ultrasonic welding and sealing modules and sytems for packaging lines are always one-of-a-kind developments that have been specifically tailored to our customers’ requirements.”

This business area was set up in 2009, and the company quickly established itself with its innovative approach, landing contracts with the pharmaceutical company Roche and a Japanese tea bag manufacturer.

The success of the company means that it generates annual turnover of 150 million EUR. Since July 2007, MS Industrie has also held a 100% share in Elektromotorenwerk Grünhain GmbH. The electrical drive specialist generates sales of 20 million EUR and focuses on the development of customerspecific solutions. It has made a name for itself as an innovative provider of drive systems for individual requirements such as pumps, drum motors, compressors, door drives for home and industry, ventilators and much more.

“Our particular strength is in developing solutions that meet unusual requirements,” outlines Dr. Aufschnaiter. “For instance, we have been commissioned to develop a mobile motor for bicycles ridden by postal delivery workers. Here, it is important the motor is light and compact.”

MS Industrie rounds off its portfolio with participations in the commercial real estate property firm Beno Immobilien GmbH and consulting companies GCI Management Consulting GmbH and UMT AG. The whole MS Industrie group generates annual turnover of more than 170 million EUR and employs 1,000 people across its holdings. Exports account for a significant portion of annual sales and through the sale of the new engine for Daimler are certain to rise to 55%.

“There are great opportunities for us in the area of diesel engines for commercial vehicles worldwide,” predicts Dr. Aufschnaiter. “We are also targeting a much greater market share for our welding technologies. It is fair to say that we are dependent on a small number of large customers, but the majority of the investments we have planned will be over in the next few years and will mean a much reduced burden.”

Over the medium term, MS Industrie will continue to focus on its core business and organic growth while gradually withdrawing from its property-related investments.

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