Youngman completes purchase of German Viseon
by Jennifer Chen
PILSTING, Germany – China’s privately-owned Youngman Automobile Group Co., Ltd. and the German bus maker Viseon Bus GmbH, signed a notarially authenticated agreement governing the participation of the Chinese automobile and commercial vehicle group in the German bus manufacturer. This was announced by the managements of the two companies in a joint statement on August 1, 2012, according to media reports.
Zhejiang-based Youngman proposal to acquire a 74.9 percent stake in Viseon has been officially approved by the Provincial Development and Reform Commission,
Beijing News reported on August 3.
Youngman will be spending a total of €10 million ($12.24 million) of its own money for the controlling stake. Following purchase, the manufacturer will allocate €1 million of that amount to make up for Viseon’s appreciation under its former shareholders. Youngman will also supply a loan totaling €5 million to Viseon.
For customers and business partners of Viseon nothing will change with the entry of the new shareholder: Former partners Joachim Reinmuth and Ernoe Bartha continue to remain shareholders of Viseon Bus GmbH. They will also continue to hold the company’s management. Development, construction and assembly of Viseon buses will continue to be in Pilsting in Lower Bavaria.
In addition, the development and construction of new bus models for Youngman’s international target markets will be supported by Viseon. Through the entry of the Youngman Group also some 240 employees of the permanent staff at the Viseon factory in Pilsting can look positively into the future.
Viseon reported a net loss of €2.26 million in 2011, with total sales revenue of €31.07 million. As of December 31, 2011, Viseon had a net assets deficit of €3.83 million.
“The investment in Viseon consolidates our premium position within the Chinese bus manufacturers segment,” Pang Qingnian, founder and president of Youngman, said after the two sides reached an initial agreement in May.
Youngman, one of the major bus makers in China, has obtained licenses from German commercial vehicle brand Neoplan to produce Neoplan buses and coaches for the Asian market since 1994. It has about 80 percent share of China’s bus market, with more than 4,800 buses sold in 2011.
Viseon had consistently expanded its market position following the acquisition of the former Neoplan plant in Pilsting, Lower Bavaria, with more than 200 employees in April 2009. In recent years the company showed increases of up to 50 percent. The basis for this rapid development was not only the establishment of a national and international distribution network, but especially an intense product and innovation offensive with seven all-new coaches, low floor double-deckers and trolley buses, as well as numerous developments and improvements of the Neoplan airport apron buses built by Viseon.