Gentherm in Northville to buy German automotive seating company for $189 million

Gentherm of Northville will acquire the automotive business of Alfmeier Präzision SE for $186.9 million. // Courtesy of Alfmeier

Gentherm, a Northville-based global thermal management technology company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the automotive business of Alfmeier Präzision SE (Alfmeier) for $189.6 million (177 .5 million euros) in cash, subject to adjustments.

Alfmeier is a German automotive lumbar comfort and massage solutions company specializing in advanced valve system technologies, integrated electronics and software. Alfmeier pioneered the use of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) valve and pump technology for automotive seating and continues to be an industry leader in innovation with over 200 patents.

Additionally, the company produces highly complex and highly reliable valves for automotive fluid systems. With approximately 2,200 employees worldwide, Alfmeier is present in Germany, the Czech Republic, the United States, Mexico and China. Its automotive business to be acquired generated $244.4 million (€232 million) in revenue in 2021.

“Alfmeier’s automotive business is a perfect complement to Gentherm’s existing capabilities and will further contribute to our mission to improve comfort, health, well-being and energy efficiency,” said Phil Eyler, President and CEO of Gentherm. “This transaction aligns well with global consumer demand for expanded vehicle passenger comfort offerings. Combining Alfmeier’s technological advances in physiotherapy with Gentherm’s expertise in thermophysiology maximizes our abilities to provide world-class comfort and wellness solutions.

“In addition, Alfmeier’s industry-leading expertise in air and liquid flow valve systems should also open up additional growth opportunities for Gentherm’s ClimateSense and Battery Performance solutions. We look forward to welcoming the Alfmeier team members to the Gentherm family.

Gentherm says the acquisition enables it to offer more compelling, high-value solutions through complementary customer relationships, leveraging combined technologies, teams and capabilities.

He also sees an opportunity to integrate the highest performing comfort and wellbeing solutions in the most space-efficient way, which is especially important for electric vehicles that demand compact integrated designs. In addition to revenue synergies, the company expects to achieve approximately $10 million in annual cost savings.

“I’m excited to see the combination of two unique systems design companies with integrated hardware and smart software. Alfmeier, as part of Gentherm, will be able to deliver a superb passenger experience through highly cost-effective systems on a much larger scale,” said Andreas Gebhardt, CEO of Alfmeier. “Automakers around the world will benefit from both companies’ culture of innovation with market-leading integrated thermal and physical comfort solutions.”

The transaction will be financed through a combination of Gentherm’s existing cash balances and revolving credit facility. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the third quarter of 2022.

James R. Rhodes