Carglass takes over German ATU’s car glass division
The Belron Group, owned for 54,8% by Belgian D’Ieteren, and the parent company of Carglass, has got the green light from German competition authorities to take over ATU’s car glass department.
As a car glass business’s market leader, Carglass operates about 350 service centers in Germany. ATU (Auto Teile Unger), the largest German car repair shop chain, has about 600 sales points in Germany and Austria.
“The merger concerns the sale of the largest German auto repair chain’s glass business to the largest automotive glass specialist,” emphasized Andreas Mundt, President of the German Federal Cartel Office.
“Even if Carglass is expanding its leading market position as a glass specialist, there will be neither market dominance nor any significant impediment to competition,” said Mundt, explaining the decision last week.
“Customers will have alternative glass specialists and independent auto-repair centers to choose from. They can also use, to a large extent, the auto-repair shops of their vehicle model manufacturer.”
Carglass is by far the largest and best-known independent supplier on the market, while ATU’s glass business is only one of many vehicle services offered. However, both suppliers operate a large, extensive network of outlets throughout Germany.
Car service giant
ATU, part of the French Mobivia family business, just like Norauto, Auto 5, and Midas, is a car service giant. It represents one billion euros in turnover. The group employs about 10 000 workers.
Belron is a daughter company of the D’Ieteren Group. In France, Belron will focus on its core business again. It is negotiating about the sales of Carglass Maison to the German holding Mutares and HomeService France, part of the British group with the same name.
In 2019, Belron did exceptionally well. The company had a higher profit forecast thanks to Carglass. The reason for that is the multiplication of Advanced Driver Aid Systems (ADAS). These sensors, cameras, and radars are often mounted behind the windshield. They serve several comfort and safety purposes but are expensive when the windshield needs replacing.
Carglass also pulled D’Ieteren through the corona crisis. D’Ieteren Group has taken a big blow from the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown with a 41% profit loss during the first quarter of 2020. Glass specialist Belron (Carglass) saved the group thanks to good results, while D’Ieteren Auto showcases good performances for June after losing 24% due to the pandemic.