The transaction is expected to be closed at the end of March 2017.
“I am excited to join forces with LG Hausys and the LG Group as a strategic partner as it provides a great platform for its development into a global leader of automotive and aerospace composites components. c2i will be benefit from the infrastructure, systems and global reach of a large industrial conglomerate whilst also keeping its agility intact. LG Hausys will access c2i’s carbon-fibre technologies for geometrically complex, ultra light-weight structures“, said Patrick Hessel, founder and CEO of c2i who will remain as company CEO post deal completion.
The company supplies carbon-fibre thermoset Class-A, structural and carbon-look components for automotive OEMs and aerospace Tier 1s such as BMW, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover and B/E Aerospace. It employs 450 people and has had a 64% CAGR over the last five years. LG Hausys supplies plastic automotive parts and skin materials including various glass fibre thermoplastics to numerous automotive OEMs from its production facilities in Korea, China and the US. Product applications include the 2017 JEC Innovation Award winning one-piece Roof Rack (PA / PA6 CFT), Rear Bumper Beam with continuous fibre and insert over-moulding technology and various Seat Back Frames. Morever, LG Hausys has numerous CFRP thermoplastics and HP-RTM thermoset applications under development such as battery pack enclosures, a fully-automated CFRP Roof, and a CFRP B-Pillar Reinforcement yielding a 50% weight reduction vs. steel.
The company is able to leverage the deep R&D capabilities of LG Hausys where over 30 R&D engineers pursue in-house development of novel composites materials and product applications, with a focus on structural design, simulation and component testing. Moreover, in cooperation with LG Electronics, LG Hausys has designed and manufactured a fully automated continuous fibre production line for complex structural glass-fibre components. The line is suitable for carbon-fibre components as well.
The company shall use part of the investment proceeds from the transaction to set-up a dedicated R&D centre focussing on automated high-volume production technology development, aiming at minimizing material costs, scrap and labour content.
“We aim to develop c2i into our Global Centre of Excellence for Carbon-fibre Composites. Leveraging on c2i’s customer base, c2i shall add to its existing product portfolio high-volume components with a focus on structural applications“, says LG Hausys Executive Vice President Dr. Kyung-Jip Min.
“Apart from deploying automation technology in the future, our strategy is to further develop c2i’s current technology base of labour-intensive prepreg autoclave and compression moulding of highly complex structures for low- to medium-volume automotive and aerospace components. Automation makes little sense for lower volume, high-complexity applications and c2i has an edge in this field. We plan to also expand on c2i’s aerospace capabilities by building another production facility for aerostructures within c2i’s industrial park“.
The deal is part of LG’s strategy for the auto-parts industry which LG Group’s top management identified as its next key growth area. The 130 billion USD turnover group aims to offer a bundled solution for next generation vehicles and has a unique product offering of critical systems such as electronics, audio, video, in-vehicle displays, automotive skin, EV motors and components, EV batteries and composites structures.