Bühler acquires wafer machinery supplier Haas

Production plant giant Bühler Group has acquired Haas Group, the Austrian manufacturer of wafer, biscuits and confectionery production systems, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition contract was signed in Vienna last week. While the acquisition enables Bühler to complete its Consumer Foods product portfolio, it offers Haas access to the resources of the Bühler organisation, including its 100 service stations and innovation network. All Haas jobs and locations have been secured.

Commenting on the deal, Johann Haas, member of Haas’ supervisory board, says, “This allows us to create the best possible conditions for successfully continuing the development of our business, for the benefit of both our customers and our employees.”

Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber, adds, “We have entertained friendly relationships with Haas for years. Together, we can generate significant added value for our customers while at the same time opening up new prospects for the employees of Haas.”

Haas, a family-owned company, was set up in Vienna over 100 years ago as a metalworking shop. In the middle of the last century, it began manufacturing wafer machinery. Since then, Haas has evolved into a global specialist in the field of production systems for wafers, hard and soft biscuits, ice cream cones, cakes, and baked goods.

With its global workforce of 1,750, Haas generates sales revenues of around €300 million and operates its own manufacturing sites in six countries.

Haas adds, “Today’s market and technology trends, whose impact and speed will continue to increase, have prompted us to take this step.”

He continues by saying that the capability of offering complete solutions and of further automating and digitising them will become increasingly important in the future. He believes this requires a certain corporate size with a strong global presence and the related customer proximity, as well as high capital investment power.

For Bühler, the acquisition marks a milestone in the development of its Consumer Foods business. The company says is the market leader in the field of production equipment for chocolate mass and end products along the entire value chain. Until now, Bühler has not worked in the market for wafer and biscuit production systems.

“We operate in the same markets and often serve the same customers, but there is no overlapping of our products and services,” explains Scheiber.

Bühler will make its global network of around 100 service stations accessible to Haas customers, develop complete solutions for the production of wafers, biscuit and confectionery with chocolate, and integrate Haas into its innovation management network. With Bühler’s presence in Asia, new opportunities will be unlocked in market for wafer and biscuit products, it says.

The transaction, which is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities, is expected to close by the end of 2017. Financial details have not been disclosed.

The company will be headed by Germar Wacker, who took on the role of CEO at Haas earlier this month.

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