WEINHEIM, Germany-Freudenberg Group plans to acquire minority ownership in Phoenix A.G.'s Stankiewicz GmbH subsidiary before year's end 1995, thereby broadening the scope of a cooperation agreement the two firms had entered into in May covering the development of vibration- and sound-damping component systems.
A primary goal of the cooperation is to develop Stankiewicz as a Tier One automotive systems supplier, drawing on the resources of both Phoenix and Freudenberg, according to Phoenix.
Freudenberg will contribute assets relating to sound insulation components to Stankiewicz in return for a minority stake-thought to be around 10 percent-in the Adelheidsdorf, Germany-based company. Freudenberg employs 125 in this sector at facilities in Weinheim; the business is worth approximately $14 million in sales annually, a spokesman said.
Specific components covered by the agreement include complete motor mounting or suspension mounting systems, which are to be designed and developed together and with the customer, and then produced at the appropri-ate manufacturing plant of either company.
Phoenix acquired Stankiewicz, a supplier of noise insulation and corrosion-resisting components to the European car industry, in 1994, and has maintained the unit as an autonomous subsidiary.
The partners continue to evaluate which Freudenberg-NOK G.P. plant or plants in North America will become a manufacturing site for certain Phoenix vibration-isolation parts. The need for a production site arose out of a contract with Ford Motor Co. for suspension bushings for the next generation Escort, due out in 1997.
Vibration-damping components-rubber-metal bonded parts, fluid-based motor mounts, etc.-make up about a fourth of Freudenberg's $1 billion in automotive-related business activities, the firm said.
Slightly more than half of Phoenix's $675 million in annual sales comes from vehicle industry business; molded products is one of four business activities in this area.