China's CIMC buys German fire-fighting truckmaker Ziegler

A 55 million euro deal

Cash-strapped German fire-fighting vehicles maker Albert Ziegler GmbH & Co has been sold to China International Marine Containers Group (CIMC) .

Ziegler, which filed for insolvency in 2011, was bought for 55 million euros ($74 million), the company said on Friday, adding that all 1000 jobs will be preserved.

"The Chinese CIMC group has extensive experience in the business of commercial and special vehicles and provides an ideal base for the expansion of Ziegler’s international business," said Bruno Kuebler, senior partner at insolvency lawfirm Kuebler said.

Ziegler makes specialised fire trucks for airports as well as electrical tunnel rescue vehicles with driving cabs facing in both directions. CIMC produces, among others, transportation vehicles for liquids, cement and refrigerated goods.

"Ziegler can now have access to a significant technical expertise and a vast international sales and distribution network, which none of the competitors can only begin to compare with", Kuebler said.

Ziegler, based in Giegen an der Brenz, Germany, was put up for sale after it filed for insolvency following the imposition of an anti-trust fine for participating in a fire-truck procurement cartel.

China has a five-year development plan that puts emphasis on industries such as high-end manufacturing equipment, information technology, alternative energy, biotechnology, advanced materials and environment-friendly technologies.

In August last year, Shandong Heavy Industry Group took a 25 percent stake in Kion Group, giving China access to industrial technology from the world’s number two fork lift truck maker.

In 2011, Sany Heavy Industry bought concrete pumps maker Putzmeister. It too kept German management in place and said Putzmeister would become a new international distribution hub outside China for concrete machinery. ($1 = 0.7472 euros) (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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