According to sources that have knowledge of the proceeds, Getrag, a German auto parts maker that is also one of the world’s largest independent producers of transmissions, is being courted by several other automotive peers.
While the auto industry is not as keen on consolidation as FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne would like, the matter is way more developed in the auto supplier sector, and the family controlling Getrag is currently exploring the idea of selling a stake or offering it through an initial public offering. The sources, who declined to reveal their identity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said the final decision has not been made yet. Canada-based Magna, North America’s largest auto parts manufacturer has expressed interest, while separately the German maker is also courted by certain Chinese rivals. The people also said Dana Holding Corp., a parts supplier in Maumee, Ohio, would also bid if the entire company was up for grabs.
Getrag was formed back in 1935, when Hermann Hagenmeyer established the transmission maker in southwest Germany. For 2013 the company had earnings of $3.6 billion in sales and that compares to around 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in annual sales of rivaling ZF Friedrichshafen AG after completing its purchase this year of US competitor TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. The parts makers are consolidating because the globalization has spread thin their forces, while automakers are asking for increasingly competitive prices for acquiring parts and the suppliers need to develop new technologies to stay ahead of rivals.