Holland spokesman: SAF merger to result in ‘truly global company’

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The merger of the Holland Group and Otto Sauer Achsenfabrik GmbH provides both companies with access to the other’s market and makes the united enterprise “truly global,” a Holland spokeman says.

Terms were not announced for the definite merger agreement signed by the Holland Group and SAF; the merger, announced Wednesday, Dec. 6, is expected to occur by year-end. SAF is a supplier of integrated axle and suspension systems for trailers, with headquarters in Bessenbach, Germany. Holland Group is a supplier of coupling, lift and suspension systems for trucks, tractors and trailers, with headquarters in Muskegon, Mich.

Both are original equipment suppliers with complementary products, leading market positions, strong management teams and excellent design, engineering, production and testing technologies, the companies say. The merger creates a global supplier of transportation equipment with the critical mass required to compete in the market, with 26 manufacturing and warehousing facilities worldwide, according to the companies.

Holland Group spokesman Ray Behrens says SAF gets access to the North American market and the Holland Group to the European market. “This makes us a truly global company,” Behrens told the Muskegon Chronicle. “We are very strong in North America and they aren’t. They are big and technologically advanced in their European operations.”

The two companies also share a similar history; both began as suppliers of horse-drawn agricultural products before evolving into suppliers to the heavy transportation industry, and both have been privately-held family businesses.

The Holland Group designs, manufactures and distributes components to the transportation industry, specializing in coupling, lift and suspension systems for trucks, tractors and trailers. Products include tractor fifth wheels and trailer landing gear, suspensions, kingpins, couplers and roll-formed components. Holland Group products are standard equipment for original equipment manufacturers, with a significant presence in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and are sold and serviced by more than 2,500 distribution locations.

SAF specializes in integrated axle and suspension systems for trailers; the systems are comprised of trailer axles, suspensions and braking systems and have been supplied to vehicle manufacturers, fleet owners and freight forwarders for more than 50 years. SAF positions itself as both a supplier and partner to the purchasers and users of their products worldwide. SAF products are standard equipment with major trailer builders, with significant presence in Europe, and are sold and serviced by more than 2,100 outlets.

After the merger, the two companies will be subsidiaries of SAF-Holland Group GmbH headquartered in Bessenbach, Germany, with combined annual turnover of about $975 million. The company will employ 3,000 people worldwide, and its combined product portfolio will be marketed under the Holland and SAF brand names.