GESCO acquires specialist manufacturer
of high-performance tools


Wuppertal, 3 January 2012 – At the turn of the year, GESCO AG acquired 85% of shares in WBL Holding GmbH, with its wholly owned subsidiaries, Werkzeugbau Laichingen GmbH and Werkzeugbau Leipzig GmbH. Long-serving managing partner Jürgen Mangold retains a 15% stake and represents continuity in the group’s management. GESCO AG acquired its majority stake from BayernLB Capital Partner.

The WBL group’s roots reach as far back as 1891. Today, it produces high-performance tools for the automotive sector and for domestic appliance manufacturers at Werkzeugbau Laichingen GmbH’s headquarters in Baden-Württemberg and at Werkzeugbau Leipzig GmbH. Thanks to its specialisation in complex and large tools in particular, WBL has established itself as an acknowledged partner of leading companies in Germany’s industrial sector. Its sophisticated service concept, which extends right up to permanent on-site service at customers’ production facilities, has enabled it to create a profile distinct from its competitors. In addition, WBL uses its own presses to produce equipment for series start-ups and small-scale series for its customers.

Employing some 150 staff, the Werkzeugbau Laichingen group achieved sales of approximately €17 million in 2011.

This latest acquisition has no effect on GESCO AG’s most recently augmented plans for the current 2011/2012 financial year (01.04.2011 - 31.03.2012), dated 9 November 2011. The WBL group will first be consolidated in the GESCO group balance sheet for the nine-month period of the current financial year, and the WBL group will not appear in the GESCO group profit and loss account until the 2012/2013 financial year.

GESCO’s management board member Dr. Hans-Gert Mayrose on the acquisition: “Werkzeugbau Laichingen is a perfect match for our portfolio, complementing the Gesco group’s range of large and sophisticated tools. The company views itself as a technological leader within the premium segment. Its combination of expertise acquired over many years, outstanding technology and excellent service is something that we believe is particularly positive.”