Stellantis wants to take over Punch Powertrain

Car manufacturing group Stellantis wants to take over the Belgian, Sint-Truiden-based transmission specialist Punch Powertrain. Although both companies are already working together via joint ventures, the Belgian company wants to defend itself against this hostile takeover in court.

Punch Powertrain plays an important role in Stellantis’s electrification process because it develops and produces the transmissions needed in its hybrid vehicles (mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid). Stellantis is especially interested in the technology for dual-clutch transmissions (DCT), hence the attempt for a takeover.

Unions worried

These special transmissions are developed, and parts for them are produced in Sint-Truiden, but the general assembly takes place in Metz (northern France). Apparently, Stellantis now wants to control the entire production of these ‘strategic transmissions,’ and that’s why it is pursuing a takeover.

The DCT transmissions for hybrid vehicles are crucial for Stellantis; that’s why they want (more) control /Punch Powertrain

Different sources confirmed the takeover attempt last Friday. Punch Powertrain fears that being absorbed by a big concern like Stellantis would be the end of the company as it exists now in a fairly short future. That’s why it wants to defend itself before the court.

Under the joint venture, there are, apparently, some 583 workers concerned in Sint-Truiden and 81 in Eindhoven (the Netherlands). Apart from the JV, another 117 employees work for Punch Powertrain in that same Sint-Truiden.

The unions are certainly worried. “Who knows what a takeover will bring in the future?” they ask. When Punch Powertrain is in the hands of a giant like Stellantis, who knows what our future as a separate entity will be?” The attempt for a hostile takeover was discussed on a special works council last Thursday.

Chinese owners

Belgian entrepreneur Guido Dumarey originally took over the company from ZF Getriebe (before VCST) and called it Punch Powertrain. In 2008, he had to sell it to other Belgian investors. In 2013, Chinese capital came in (New Horizon), and in 2016,  the company was sold for approximately one billion euros to the Chinese group Yinyi. However, problems in the Chinese real estate market led to financial difficulties for Yinyi.

A consortium of financially solid players like Fosun, Geely, and Haier came to the rescue, and a new financial entity was created: Yinyi became Sensteed, the current owner of Punch Powertrain. The Stellantis Group hasn’t reacted yet to the story.




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