EVANSVILLE, Ind.Wheel maker Accuride Corp. has acquired a majority stake in Italian steel wheel maker Gianetti Ruote S.r.l., providing Accuride with access to many of Europe's leading commercial vehicle producers.
Evansville-based Accuride said it will invest $21 million over 36 months to improve Gianetti's manufacturing in exchange for its majority equity position, which it is acquiring from the MW Italia wheels division of CLN S.p.A. of Turin, Italy. The parties did not disclose the size of the ownership stake changing hands.
For the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, Gianetti generated net sales of $28.7 million with an adjusted pre-tax operating loss of $2.2 million.
Acquiring a majority stake in Gianetti Ruote establishes Accuride as a tier-one wheel supplier to Europe's leading commercial vehicle OEMs, Accuride President and CEO Rick Dauch said.
The partnership enables us to strengthen relationships with our global OEM customers by serving their needs in Europe, build closer ties to key regional OEMs and grow Gianetti's business. We will improve the competitiveness and profitability of the business by combining select strategic investments with our rigorous quality and lean manufacturing systems to help the Gianetti wheel-production facility achieve world-class levels of quality and operational excellence.
Founded in 1880 as a producer of wheels for agricultural equipment, Gianetti Ruote today supplies European producers of trucks, buses and trailers with steel wheels produced at its manufacturing and engineering center in Ceriano Laghetto, near Milan, where it will continue to be headquartered.
I believe that our agreement with Accuride will prove to be an extraordinary opportunity for Gianetti to be not only a European player, but a global one, said Gabriele Perris Magnetto, CEO of CLN S.p.A.
Gianetti's strong product design expertise will be exported globally, thus reinforcing its product leadership in the new venture.
Gianetti added capacity for car and truck wheels in the 1920s and later obtained licenses to produce steel truck rims from Firestone Steel Products and cast-steel spoke wheels from Dayton Steel Foundry.
Gianetti Ruote becomes part of Accuride's expanded global wheels business unit under the leadership of Scott Hazlett, senior vice president, operations.
Accuride will continue Gianetti's proud tradition of supplying best-in-class steel-wheel products by strengthening its capable engineering resources and manufacturing assets, Mr. Hazlett said. As partners, Accuride and CLN will leverage Gianetti's advanced wheel technologies to meet our customers' current and future vehicle program requirements.
This will be Accuride's first manufacturing outside of North America. The company generated sales of $705.2 million in 2014, with 57 percent of revenue coming from wheels. Sales from outside the Americas are negligible.