By Liz White, editor
Prague, Czech Republic -- Gumotex Automotive sro's purchase of the automotive business of Tanex Plasty AS has been approved by the Czech competition authority (UOHS), according to a 25 July announcement.
Both companies make foamed polyurethane and polypropylene parts for automotive interiors, with Gumotex making foam seat cushions and headrests, as well as sun visors. Tanex Plasty also makes headrest and seat foam, among other interior components such as floor and roof insulation, and gear lever knobs.
UOHS ruled that the combined operations will have insufficient market share in Europe in such interior parts for open competition to be threatened.
Gumotex Automotive is part of Czech rubber and plastics group Gumotex, which has a major business making inflatable boats and air mattresses. Group turnover in 2007 was reported by Czech newspaper the Prague Monitor as CzK 2400 million ($159.3 million), with 1300 employees.
While Gumotex has a focus on the Czech market, it also sells into other countries in the European Economic Area - Germany, Belgium, France and Poland.
Tanex Plasty, based in Jaromer, Czech Republic, makes parts for car interiors and exteriors, such as seat and headrest foam, doors panels, and floor and roof insulation, plus passive safety bumpers using PP foam. As well as selling in the Czech Republic, Tanex products go to EU countries such as Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, the Netherlands and the UK. Tanex Plasty employs 200 is reported to have had sales in 2007 of CzK 536 million.
UOHS said any impact on the market for headrests and seat foam in the EEA will be negligible because the market share of the merging unit will only be a few percent.