Breaking new ground

Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG is breaking new ground: the acquisition of a supplier in the framework of an asset deal effects parts insourcing in a classic reverse integration. As part of an asset deal by the newly founded Kässbohrer Composites GmbH, effective April 01, 2018 Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG assumes control of the activities of Austrian company KK Composites GmbH, headquartered in Micheldorf, Austria. The company has specialized in fiber composites since 1982. Target company 
With in-house design and development, model-making and prototyping and an end-to-end process chain from concept through to series production, the company with its experienced team manufactures GRP (glass-fiber-reinforced plastic) and CRP (carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic) components for a wide range of industries and applications. The most important is the agricultural machinery sector. But the company has also manufactured parts for electric generators, firefighting vehicles and aircraft maintenance equipment. All 27 employees will be retained and keep their jobs. KKC had filed for insolvency back in December 2017. The reasons were the loss of certain customers and difficulties with large projects. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Corporate strategy 
With this acquisition, Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG is pursuing its strategy of reducing its dependence on external suppliers. Production depth is currently running at about 10 % and the aim is to improve this figure. This insourcing move marks the start of a Kässbohrer quality offensive in supplier management. Initially, therefore, the new company Kässbohrer Composites GmbH will mostly be busy producing components for PistenBully snow groomers. Broadly speaking, that will mean parts for the driver's cab, winch covering, floorpan and cockpit. The company will still be active in the market for composite parts, however, and will continue to supply current KKC customers. 
This acquisition is a win-win for all the stakeholders. This applies to customers and to both companies. The clear benefit for existing and new customers is the long-term, solid perspective with the new company under the umbrella of a rock-steady international player. This ensures a stable, long-lasting peer-to-peer relationship with customers. 
Another big plus: GRP parts installed in PistenBully vehicles are representative of the high dependability of the products - even in extremely harsh operating conditions. In the new guise of Kässbohrer Composites GmbH, the former KKC as a commercial entity gets a "parent" well able to strengthen the company in its competences. In this business model the risks for both companies are diminished by the synergy effects for the parent and by the creation of a strong commercial basis for the target company. Sights set firmly on the future 
Possibilities for development, including expansion of the production methods and the use of different materials, will be assessed over the coming years.