Michelin to Sell Wheel Business to Mefro

Michelin is planning to transfer its Wheel Business to the German company Mefro, a specialist in the field. Michelin’s Wheel Business includes four distinct subsidiaries: “MRF” (Michelin Roues France), based in Troyes, “MKW” (Michelin Kronprinz Werke), based in Solingen in Germany, Tekersan, a Turkish company based in Bilecik and the Essen-based German distributor, Berger. The plan to transfer this business to Mefro Group, if completed, is conducted with a view to maintaining site operations as well as the employment terms for all 1,800 staff currently employed.

The sale of the Wheel Business to Mefro group will involve the transfer of Michelin Roues France and Kronprinz, along with the Berger and Tekersan subsidiaries. The normal employee representative information and consultation procedures were initiated today.

This new business combination should enable Mefro to become Europe’s number one wheel manufacturer.

For a number of years, Michelin has considered that the future prospects of this business, which is quite distinct from tire manufacturing, would be best served by an actor whose core business is wheel-making. Indeed, although wheels and tires are closely related from a functional point of view, their respective manufacturing processes offer very limited synergy opportunities.

Mefro is a family-owned German company with a consolidated turnover of approximately EUR 160 million in 2004. It employs more than 1000 people in its three German plants. Its core business is the manufacturing of steel parts for the automotive industry and it is one of Europe’s leading wheel manufacturers for industrial vehicles.

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