Benteler sells engineering unit; focus on steel/tube, autos

Austrian/German tube maker and automotive supplier Benteler is selling its engineering business to international engineering and R&D provider Altran, in order to focus more on its automotive, steel/tube and distribution units, Benteler said in a statement on Tuesday.

“With this sale we will focus on our strategic core business within the fields of automotive, steel/tube and distribution. At the same time, we will continue to invest in innovative products and solutions in order to be the preferred partner for our customers worldwide,” said co-chairman and CFO of Benteler International, Boris Gleissner. The sale is still subject to German Federal Cartel Office approval.

Benteler said earlier this year that it would focus further on cost structures and distribution activities in particular after being hampered by a weak sector for steel tube.

The steel and tube division saw a stark year-on-year drop in its January-June revenue from €512 million last year to €407 million this year. The distribution division, which includes sales of flat products and tubes, increased its revenue by 9.4% y-o-y to €532 million.

“The revenue of the BDI [distribution business] has improved as a result of that from BTI [flat steel distribution unit],” a Benteler spokesperson told Platts this month.

The automotive unit is set to grow further and expand in Eastern Europe. Benteler plans to open its fifth plant in the Czech Republic by the end of 2017. “We consequently follow the approach of serving customers’ demand where it emerges,” the spokesperson said, adding that Eastern Europe continues to be a growing market for the automotive business.

Laura Varriale, PLATTS