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8/11/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

Mitsubishi Rayon buys majority stake of German autocomposites firm

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Mitsubishi Rayon will acquire 51 percent of Wethje Holding GmbH, a carbon fiber composites auto parts manufacturer, with Wethje's parent company Cross Industries AG.

Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (MRC, Tokyo, Japan) had executed a share sales and purchase agreement by which MRC will acquire 51 percent of Wethje Holding GmbH (Hengersberg, Germany), a manufacturer of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) parts for automobile applications, with Wethje parent company Cross Industries AG (Wels, Austria). The goal of the investment is to strengthen and expand MRC's carbon fiber intermediate materials business for automobile applications in Europe.

Wethje will become a consolidated subsidiary of MRC subject to fulfillment of closing conditions including approvals by appropriate authorities required in Germany and Austria. Moreover, MRC has confirmed that it will build a solid partnership with Cross by jointly owning Wethje on a long‐term basis.

Founded in 1979, Wethje is said to be recognized in the European market as a CFRP auto parts manufacturer with high‐level technology through its supply of parts for luxury vehicles. Also, Wethje offers autoclave-based processing for small-scale production and resin transfer molding (RTM) for mid-scale serial production.

MRC has recently developed PCM (Prepreg Compression Molding) technology, which is said to enable fast cycle times with high quality. MRC also has expanded through the acquisition of Challenge Co. Ltd. (Sayama, Japan), the investment in Action Composites International (Dongguan City, China) and the development of multiaxial non-crimp fabric technology for RTM through the acquisition of TK Industries (Bayern, Germany).

MRC will use Wethje as a development and production base for CFRP parts.

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