MIDLAND, Mich.—Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has upped the ante on its commitment to electrified technologies.
Almost one year after acquiring a 31 percent stake in Midland-based Xalt Energy, which produces lithium-ion technology solutions targeted for heavy-duty mobility applications, Freudenberg disclosed another investment in January to take a majority ownership in the firm.
Financial details were not disclosed, but Freudenberg said it now has a "more than 50 percent share" in Xalt with a standing agreement to acquire all remaining shares during the next few years.
"Now is the time to really put in a lot of capital and infuse cash into this business to make it much bigger and prepare for the growth we are definitely seeing through committed orders from our customers," said Nils Martens, senior vice president who leads Freudenberg's recently formed Battery and Fuel Cell Division. "We also want to drive expansions into other regions."
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies generated about 55 percent of its $2.66 billion sales in 2017 from the automotive market, the remainder coming from industries like aerospace, commercial truck and bus, marine and energy.
The firm took an internal look at how its businesses would be impacted by emerging electrified technologies. In September, Freudenberg concluded about 70 percent of its business is in danger unless it takes steps to chase these new opportunities. While its existing business will remain relevant in the near-term, global trends are beginning to accelerate the adoption of electric technologies.