Another Chip Off Fuchs’ Block


Fuchs Petrolub AG recently announced the sale of its polishing division, Lippert-Unipol, to Jason Inc., a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company specializing in surface treatment. The divestment marks Fuchs exit from the third of three non-core activities entered in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

At one point the company thought it was a good idea to diversify into related areas, spokesman Hubertus Staerk told Lube Report yesterday. But it is expensive to keep those businesses competitive, so our strategy has changed in recent years. Now we see it is better to focus on the core business and not to dilute the results with diversifications.

Lippert-Unipol manufactures and markets tools used to polish metal components but is not involved in lubricants or fluids. Headquartered in Epfenbach, Germany, it employs 208 people and had sales of 22 million in 2005.

Staerk said Fuchs worked diligently in recent years to improve Lippert-Unipols performance, and brought the division back into the black, partly by closing several production and warehousing facilities. He added that remaining jobs should be preserved by the sale to Jason, which manufactures and markets technical brushes and tools for surface treatment. Jason has 3,000 employees and recorded revenue of $550 million last year.

Staerk said Fuchs previously divested two other businesses acquired during the late 80s and early 90s – one that supplied chemicals, the other involved in spark plugs.

Fuchs is based in Mannheim, Germany, and is the largest independent lubricant manufacturer in the world.

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