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Plastic Omnium to buy Hella’s stake in front-end module venture

PARIS — Plastic Omnium will buy Hella’s 33 percent stake in the HBPO joint venture, which makes front-end modules, for 290 million euros ($295 million), the two companies have said.

The move will give Plastic Omnium full ownership of the joint venture, which was established in 2004 with a third partner, Behr (later a part of Mahle). Plastic Omnium bought Mahle’s share in 2018, giving it a 66 percent stake.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. 

HBPO has been fully integrated into Plastic Omnium’s financial statements since its purchase of the Mahle stake. The unit’s revenue was 2.2 billion euros in 2021.

Front-end modules include lighting, bumpers, grilles, radar and other driving assistance sensors, and radiators, according to customer needs. The finished product bolts to the vehicle in one piece during assembly. 

HBPO, which is based in Lippstadt, Germany, says it has about a 20 percent share of the market for the modules, producing about 24,000 daily.

Hella, best known as a lighting supplier, was bought this year by Plastic Omnium’s French rival Faurecia after a bidding war between the two companies. Plastic Omnium has acquired two lighting providers in the past year, Varroc and Osram.

Plastic Omnium CEO Laurent Favre did not say if lighting from those companies would be integrated into the front-end modules.

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