How to buy a metal or foundry company in Germany

Your own metals industry strategy

The starting point when you want to buy a company in the German metals industry is to be clear on your own strategy. What are your unique selling points? Where do you differentiate from the competition? What do you want to achieve with a metal or foundry acquisition? How well do you know the German metal market? Have you spoken to any possible metal targets to buy? Do you know any companies you want to buy in Germany?

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The German metals industry

The metals and electrical industry (often viewed in combination in Germany) is at the heart of the German economy. After some decline in revenues, especially in the wake of the financial and economic crisis, the metal industry in Germany is well on its way to stabilize again. Its share of the German economy increased from 13.3 percent (2000) to above 14 percent again (2015). About 3.7 million people are employed in the industry. The industry is facing a fierce international competition. Nevertheless, the German metal industry is considered an economic driving force. 1,000 billion Euros – The combined revenues of the companies of the German metal and electrical industry. That's more than the combined annual gross domestic product of Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg. No other industry has such a comparatively high share of economic output, tax revenues and social security contributions in Germany. To buy a company in this field can be of high interest.

Buying into the German metals Industry: sub-industries

The metals industry is of course very broad and diverse. The German metals industry includes many different areas such as:

  • The foundry industry
  • Non-ferrous metal industry
  • Metal processing
  • Steel industry

Their close interaction with the automotive industry, the construction industry, the electrical industry or mechanical engineering makes it a great pillar of the economy in Germany. As a basic industry, the sector creates ever new intermediate goods or materials with which it contributes to the success of other industries. The largest number of companies in the metal sector is recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia, followed by Baden-Württemberg and Hessen.

Buy a foundry company in Germany

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Especially in the foundry industry, most companies are located in the traditional midsized company sector (“German Mittelstand”) and some of them even have roots in the 19th century. As an integral part of the value chain, the foundry industry is a major supplier to the automotive industry. Both through its non-ferrous die castings and iron-cast parts it has a significant share in supporting just-in-time deliveries to the German economy. Please reach out to us if you want to buy a foundry company in Germany.

Developments in the German metals industry

Two major global trends determine the development of the metal industry

  • A global de-industrialization, which also includes the metals industry (but increase in some new competitor countries)
  • A global shift of power from traditional competitors to new competitive countries in Central and Eastern Europe (including Turkey) and Asia with China as its center.

In addition to these global trends the structural change in the German metals industry is dominated by two other trends, namely the increase in networking throughout all industries and knowledge intensification. This can be of importance if you want to buy a metals company in Germany. Please reach out to us if you want buy a metals or foundry company in Germany.

Despite some companies that were distressed and the emigration of some plants to new locations abroad, Germany remains one of the leading manufacturers of metal products. The growing importance of medium-sized craft- and industrial companies is dealing not only with mechanical and plant engineering, metal, mold manufacturing, shipbuilding and foundry products. But rather with exciting new areas like for instance the precision mechanical and optical industry, medical and aerospace applications. For the German metal industry is still at home in a variety of industries.

Items to take into account when buying a metals company in Germany

If you want to buy a metals (or foundry) company in Germany you have to be aware of the following. Despite the outstanding position of the metal industry in the German and European economy, there are a number of day-to-day issues of concern to the companies in the industry that need to be addressed. This can have an effect on your strategy to buy a metals company in Germany. Please read more here before you buy a metals company:

  • The industry is very capital intensive and capital binding which may lead to difficulties with regard to external financing. Some branches in the industry are considered weak and ratings by banks are sometimes low.
  • The industry is confronted with a high price and volume volatility, both with regard to the market but also in terms of rollercoaster raw material pricing. Not all companies deal with this equally well.
  • Increasing energy costs put margins under pressure, especially in the small- and medium sized segment of the industry
  • Many companies find themselves in a sandwich position between supplier and clients
  • Sometimes the mid-sized companies find oligopolists as competitors
  • Can a specialization or technological improvement towards a niche position or following new market trends be achieved and does the company generate enough funds to invest into this?
  • Are capacities sufficient for internationalization?
  • Is the business model sound and sustainable?

How to buy a company

Buy a business in Germany All these issues open up opportunities for buying a company in the German metals (processing) marketplace. However, If you want to be active in the German metals market and buy a company it is important to understand the process in general. Here you can read more about buying a company in Germany.

The process of buying or selling a company is described in much more detail on the CFIE website. We focus very much on building of a relationship between the buyer and the seller. We want to help you and describe the buying process more in general. This can help you with the preparation of the buying process. Please read more about the general preparation when buying a company in buying a business.

Buying a company in the German metals industry

We have people with practical experience on how to buy a company in Germany. Our people have a an industry background and have executed the buying process many times. The main differentiator is our understanding of the metals and foundry industry in Germany. Our people are close to the German industry and know many of the business owners. Please get in touch with us if you want to know more about how to acquire a metals or foundry company in Germany.