PARIS (Feb. 18)—Groupe Michelin has agreed to sell its wheel business to Mefro Raderwerk Ronnenburg GmbH of Ronnenburg, Germany, for an undisclosed price.
The sale would comprise four Michelin subsidiaries involved in wheel manufacturing and distribution, which employ 1,800 and generate annual sales of about $400 million. Mefro is considered a leading European maker of steel wheels for industrial vehicles.
Michelin has been evaluating the future prospects of this business for a number of years, thinking it would be better allied with a company whose core business is wheel-making.
The assets to be divested are: Michelin Roues France in Troyes, France; Michelin Kronprinz Werke in Solingen, Germany; Tekersan Bilecik in Turkey; and a distribution unit in Essen, Germany. Michelin phased out wheel production at a plant in Spain last year.
Mefro Raderwerk is a unit of Mefro Metallwarenfabrik Fischbacher GmbH, a family-owned metal fabricating company in Rohrdorf, Germany. The combined Mefro and Michelin activities represent annual capacity for 20 million car wheels, 5.5 million wheels for commercial vehicles and 1.5 million for agricultural and industrial vehicles, Mefro said, making it Europe's largest maker of wheels.
Mefro has annual sales of about $200 million and more than 1,000 employees at three facilities in Germany. Its core business is making steel parts for the automotive industry.