Business/economy

Bosch Solar Energy Potential buyer found for parts of the Arnstadt location Chance to save some 1,100 jobs

  • SolarWorld plans to take over production of cells and modules
  • Second investor plans to manufacture pharmaceutical products at the Arnstadt location
  • Bosch intends to manufacture an automotive product in Arnstadt in the future
  • Realization of the entire concept subject to approval by the antitrust authorities as well as to other framework conditions.
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  • November 26, 2013
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases

press release

Stuttgart/Arnstadt – Bosch plans to sell its Arnstadt manufacturing operations for cells and modules to SolarWorld AG. The buyer intends to employ roughly 800 associates. An agreement to this effect was signed today. A second investor plans to lease shopfloor space in order to manufacture pharmaceutical products under clean-room conditions. This would create roughly 100 jobs. A declaration of intent has already been signed.

Bosch intends to relocate the manufacture of an automotive electronic product from the Bosch location in Hatvan, Hungary, to Arnstadt, as well as to set up a service organization and a trading company for handling existing obligations. Over the medium term, this may preserve roughly 250 further jobs. The realization of the entire concept is subject, among other things, to approval by the antitrust authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose any of the conditions of the agreement.

In the weeks ahead, Bosch and the investors still have to conclude extensive preliminary work. This includes the necessary negotiations with the employee representatives.

Solution for the Arnstadt location
SolarWorld has drawn up a business plan for the Arnstadt plant that envisions a central, lasting role for the Arnstadt location as part of the SolarWorld group.
Bosch will now quickly start negotiations with employee representatives to discuss the practical implementation of the plan. Earlier this year, it was possible to give the location’s 91 apprentices a guarantee that they could complete their training in other vocational programs, both within and outside Bosch.

“This makes it likely that we can offer jobs to roughly 1,100 of our presently 1,500 associates in Arnstadt. The negotiation process was a lengthy one. But if the deals are put into practice as planned, it will allow us to give a great majority of associates a perspective. We have invested a lot of time and considerable sums of money in making this possible,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
“Instead of closure, our aim was to find purchasers with a viable industrial concept and a good reputation, and that take a long-term view that offers prospects for the future,” Denner says, explaining Bosch’s approach. “With today’s signing, we have reached an important milestone,” he adds. “However, various conditions still have to be satisfied before this solution can be put into practice. They include final signing with the investor from the pharmaceuticals industry and successful talks with employee representatives.”

Complex framework conditions
In March 2013, Bosch announced it was ending its activities in crystalline photovoltaics.
“In order to preserve as many jobs as possible, we cast our net wide in our search for an investor. We mainly looked for buyers involved solely in photovoltaics. In addition, we approached many companies from outside the industry. Within Bosch as well, we made great efforts to find products that could be manufactured in Arnstadt,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the supervisory board of Bosch Solar Energy AG and the member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector.
In its search for a solution, Bosch received constructive support from the Thuringian state government and the Thuringian development corporation.

Further negotiations
Attempts are being made to find comparable solutions for the module factory in Vénissieux, France. Bosch is holding talks with investors from the photovoltaics industry as well as other industries. Here too, Bosch is examining the possibility of manufacturing a product from a different division at the location in the future.

As already announced at the beginning of October 2013, the search continues for a buyer for the stake Bosch holds in its subsidiary aleo solar AG, based in Oldenburg and Prenzlau, Germany. It is also working with the directors of aleo to examine all the options available. These include the complete or partial sale of the operative business of the aleo solar group. Whether and when a transaction will come to a successful conclusion remains to be seen.

As already announced in March 2013, Bosch Solar CIS Tech GmbH in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, and Bosch Power Tec GmbH in Hamburg will continue to be run as before.

Video-Footage:
Solar modules with 60 photovoltaic cells each
Manufacturing (photovoltaic cells): Using output testing to classify the cells

Contact persons for press inquiries:
Dr. Eva-Maria Rakob
phone +49 711 811-6657

Christian Hoenicke
phone +49 711 811-6285

Dr. Ingo Rapold
phone +49 711 811-48905

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8399 - November 26, 2013

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