On July 12, 2016, the Austrian Aichelin Group acquired US-based Atmosphere Group, holding company of AFC-Holcroft. The two groups are a perfect fit: Both are leading market players with a long-standing history and state-of-the-art technologies and services in the industrial area of heat treatment solutions. Aichelin Group - with its manufacturing companies Aichelin, EMA Indutec, SAFED, BOSIO and Noxmat - is a leading provider of high-quality plants and systems. AFC-Holcroft is the US market leader in the production of industrial furnace equipment for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Other main companies of Atmosphere Group are Atmosphere Heat Treating and Austemper Inc. Until now, Atmosphere Group was privately held. The parties agreed not to disclose details and the price of the transaction.
The acquisition complements the geographic presence of Aichelin Group and strengthens the Group's overall market position as one of the leading global heat treatment groups. The Aichelin Group is now the largest provider of atmosphere furnaces worldwide. With a strong presence in Europe, North America and Asia, the joint annual turnover generated by 1,100 employees amounts to over 195 million euros (2015). The group operates a network in 32 countries.
"This is a major step in Aichelin Group's strategy of building a global, dynamic group of companies specializing in heat treatment solutions," says Aichelin Group's CEO Peter Schobesberger. "With AFC-Holcroft as a member of our Group, we further evolve into a truly global company with strong local roots in the most important markets. We have an excellent, complementary geographical footprint and will further strengthen our leading positions."
Bill Disler, CEO of AFC-Holcroft, adds: "AFC-Holcroft celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. With Aichelin Group as our new owner, we are sure to combine our long-standing traditions with an innovative future. AFC-Holcroft will benefit from being embedded into a family of strong global companies and brands."
Aichelin Group's business model covers all stages of the lifecycle: From design, engineering, manufacturing and installation at customer sites to comprehensive maintenance and spare part services. By combining the networks of Aichelin Group and AFC-Holcroft, customers will get the best of two worlds: An enlarged, high quality product portfolio as well as a process innovative, worldwide service network. "Together, we have an ideal position to service our customers in the best possible way. They can benefit from our extended project capabilities and the most reliable technology of three continents. Additionally, we will continue to focus on innovation and exploit all our joint possibilities," says Schobesberger.
As the next step, a process will start to integrate AFC-Holcroft and its sister companies into Aichelin Group's network in the coming months. AFC-Holcroft's headquarters will remain in Wixom, Michigan. The current top management stays in place and most customers will keep their key account managers.
"We want to play an active role in the consolidation of the heat treatment market. We aim at joint growth and a sustainable profitability, for the benefit of our customers, stakeholders and employees", closes CEO Schobesberger.