ContiTech, the rubber and plastics division of German supplier Continental AG, has purchased for an undisclosed amount the automotive air-conditioning business of Parker Hannifin Corp. in a bid to expand its overseas automotive operations. The acquisition means that ContiTech is taking over five Parker plants in China, Mexico, South Korea and the Czech Republic and around a thousand employees.
ContiTech chief executive Heinz-Gerhard Wente said the unit’s acquisition of Parker’s automotive air-conditioning business fits its growth strategy perfectly, given the supplier's exposure to U.S. and Japanese carmakers. Wente added that the acquisition will effectively make ContiTech a global partner for carmakers like Ford, GM and Honda. ContiTech said the acquisition, the purchasing agreements of which were signed Monday, is one of the unit’s biggest-ever deals. The acquisition, however, has yet to receive approval from antitrust authorities. Continental AG ranks No. 3 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers, having global sales to carmakers of $30.5 billion in 2011. Its air-conditioning unit, ContiTech, generates annual sales of $140 million.