After considering all its strategic options, Bosch has decided to look for a buyer for its packaging machinery business (PA), more specifically the pharmaceuticals and food units of the Packaging Technology division, the company announced on Friday. With the Bosch Group needing to focus on the transformation ahead, it has not identified any sufficiently relevant synergy effects in terms of business or technology that might offer the division prospects for the future within Bosch.
Therefore, Packaging technology is not part of the group’s core business. PA is involved in project business relating to specialized areas of the packaging industry. The company also operates in a competitive environment in which the players are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and who are therefore at a structural advantage. Bosch is certain that its packaging technology operations need to be put on a different footing that will allow them to react more flexibly to the specific requirements of the packaging machinery market. The company’s special-purpose machinery manufacturer Robert Bosch Manufacturing Solutions GmbH is a separate entity, and will remain part of the Bosch Group.
“This decision will allow Bosch to narrow its focus on issues of importance for its future, such as the transformation of the Bosch Group and its future digitalization strategy, including the internet of things, and to pool its resources accordingly,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, the Bosch board of management member responsible for the Energy and Building Technology and Industrial Technology business sectors.
“Both PA and Bosch will benefit from this decision. A reorganized packaging technology business will be able to adapt more flexibly to the diverse requirements of this typically SME market, while Bosch will be free to focus its attention entirely on the group’s impending profound transformation,” Hartung adds. It also is the Bosch Group’s strategy to structure its operations competitively. Consequently, it continuously adjusts its business fields, and it is in this context that this decision has to be seen.
Technologically, as well as because of its novel approaches and the efficient team behind it, Bosch packaging machinery enjoys an excellent reputation in the various industries in which it is employed. Its innovations have recently garnered awards. “My colleagues in PA executive management and I are confident of future business success. We’re one of the biggest companies in our industry, and the path we have chosen is clearly the right one. We will stay together as a strong and stable unit. Under new ownership as well, our tried and tested team will continue to provide our customers with excellent manufacturing solutions and services,” says Dr. Stefan König, chairman of the managing board of Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH. “PA has always led a largely independent existence within the Bosch Group, and will in the future be able to respond even better to the requirements of the packaging industry. Our customers will benefit from this.”
From a business perspective, the past two fiscal years were difficult for certain PA units. Under new management, however, the company has begun to realign, with some initial success. Many units are now in a good position to serve the growing market. In the years ahead, the company expects to see increasing demand. With its many technological USPs, the pharmaceuticals unit is developing encouragingly and growing. The food unit has strengthened its core areas, and intends to further expand its market position.
PA currently employs some 6,100 associates in its global packaging technology operations. Its aim is for all its associates and locations to be retained by the eventual buyer. Associates and employee representatives were informed of the decision today. They will be kept continuously up to date about the course of the divestment process.