Korea’s Nice Holdings acquires majority stake in wheel maker BBS

An investor consortium led by Austrian industrial holding Tyrol Equity AG has signed an agreement to sell a majority stake in German high performance alloy wheel manufacturer BBS GmbH to Korea Exchange listed industrial group Nice Holdings. The parties have declined to disclose the transaction value, and the deal is subject to relevant regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed within the coming months.

Tryol Equity states that it will retain a minority share in BBS and will support its new partner Nice as they work to realise BBS’ strategic growth path. “Since our entry in early 2012 we have worked intensively and successfully in reorganising BBS’ operations and the implementation of a sustainable growth strategy,” commented Tyrol Equity AG board member Dietmar Gstrein. “We would like to thank the management team and all the employees for their trust and great support. We are proud of what we have achieved and are convinced that Nice is the right partner to support the next major step for BBS, particularly in terms of strategy.”

Jin Dong-Hyun, general director of Nice Holdings, commented: “We are very happy to be the new partner of BBS. We are convinced to build a great business success with BBS and are confident that BBS provides Nice with a feasible chance to accomplish unprecedented business success in European markets. Additionally, we will make the best use of the stable financial structure of Nice Group and its strong network in Asia. We will provide the utmost support to BBS for continuous and sustainable growth through market penetration in Asian markets.”

BBS is a leading manufacturer of cast high-performance light alloy wheels for premium automotive original equipment manufacturers, high-end tuning companies and the independent aftermarket. Since it was established in the 1970s, BBS has covered the entire value-added chain, from melting to casting, flow-forming, machining and surface finishing. BBS’ products are 100 per cent designed, manufactured and tested in Germany. In 2014, BBS generated sales of around 70 million euros and maintained a workforce of approximately 430 employees.

“Working with the BBS management over the last three years, Tyrol Equity has demonstrated great dedication and detailed business expertise in restructuring the business,” stated Jürgen Lohmann, CEO of BBS GmbH. “For the company and for us personally as managing directors this was a fruitful period. We now look forward to working together with Nice as a new strong partner.”

BBS applied for insolvency on 30 December 2010, and as a result its BBS Motorsport business and BBS Washi Wheels were sold to Japan’s ONO Group. Tyrol Equity AG and co-investor Udo Wendland acquired a share in the newly-created GmbH on 1 April 2012.

Tyrol Equity was advised on the transaction by the international investment bank N+1 (M&A) and Orth Kluth (legal).

About Nice Holdings

Nice Group is a listed financial infrastructure service provider and manufacturing company based in Korea. The group consists of three business divisions: Financial information, financial infrastructure and manufacturing. Light metal was selected to be the core business for the manufacturing business division in 2010, and since then the Nice Group has sought out opportunities in the automotive, aviation and other sectors.

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