BMW AG board member and one of the main shareholders, Susanne Klatten, has bought a blocking minority stake in the carbon-fiber maker SGL Group to keep Volkswagen at bay after their recent investment in the same company. Back in March, VW acquired an 8% percent stake in SGL Carbon, BMW’s partner in the new carbon-fiber venture. The term sheet stipulates that VW cannot acquire more than 10% of the company.
According to Automotive News, SGL said that Klatten raised her stake in the company, via her investment vehicle Skion, to 27.3 percent, giving her the right to veto strategic decisions, and aimed to lift it to about 29 percent over the next 12 months, up from 22 percent previously. Klatten previously announced she could easily get a blocking minority stake in SGL if needed. Klatten, a member of the Quandt family, holds a 12.6 percent stake in BMW, while her family, which is BMW’s biggest shareholder, holds 46 percent of the company’s shares.
In 2009, the BMW Group and the SGL Group have agreed on the establishment of a joint venture for the production of carbon fibres and textile semi-finished products (CFRP) for use in vehicle construction. The total investment volume is € 90 million in the first development phase, the two companies stated on Thursday. The joint venture will be operated through two companies, one based in North America (SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC), and the other in Germany (SGL Automotive Fibers GmbH & Co KG).
With carbon fiber parts produced in-house, BMW can optimize their production costs and control the pricing of its future electric cars, starting with the 2013 BMW i3.