German car maker, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) yesterday acquired a 15.6-per cent stake in SGL Carbon SE, the world's largest maker of carbon fibre and graphite products, strategic materials for the automotive industry, as they help reduce vehicles weight and increase efficiency and are expected to play a key role in vehicle manufacturing.
Although BMW did not disclose how much it paid, analysts surmise that since SGL Carbon has a market value of about €2.85 billion ($3.85 billion), BMW could have paid around €460 million or $622 million for the 15.6-per cent of SGL Carbon.
The purchase comes just eight months after its local rival Volkswagen AG (VW) acquired an 8.2 -cent in SGL Carbon.
Germany's richest woman, Susanne Klatten, an heiress of the Quandt family, who owns nearly half of BMW, already holds nearly 29 per cent of SGL Carbon through investment vehicle SKion GmbH.
When VW said in March that it had bought an 8.2-per cent stake in SGL Carbon, analysts had predicted that both the carmakers would fight for control of SGL Carbon since BMW is also a minority partner in a joint venture with SGL Carbon in its carbon-fibre plant in Washington in the US.
BMW, which will use carbon-fibre materials and components in its new BMW i3 and i8 electrics cars, yesterday said that it currently is not seeking representation on SGL Carbon's board.