Wolfratshausen/Weinheim (ots) - Freudenberg & Co., Weinheim, has acquired large sections of Burgmann Dichtungswerke in Wolfratshausen, particularly those relating to the mechanical seals, expansion joints and automotive business, and is thus expanding its seals activities. "With the acquisition, we are implementing our strategy to grow outside of the automotive sector in a technologically demanding market," said Dr. Peter Stehle, Member of the Management Board of Freudenberg & Co. Burgmann, which was established 120 years ago, is headquartered in Wolfratshausen, Bavaria. Last year, the company had a global workforce of some 3,300 associates, 1,100 of whom were employed at the German sites in Wolfratshausen and Eurasburg and the company's service centers. With sales of some 292 million Euro (2002), Burgmann is one of the world's leading mechanical seals producers and the market leader in Germany. The parties have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential. The Federal Cartel Office has approved the deal. The company is now called Burgmann Industries GmbH & Co. KG.

"For us, Freudenberg is an ideal partner, and we can join forces to benefit from the opportunities the market has to offer," said Prof. Elmar Baur, Chief Executive Officer of Burgmann. Freudenberg has considerable experience in the field of sealing technology and together with its long-standing partner Eagle Industry, the leading Japanese mechanical seals producer, has the potential to strengthen and expand Burgmann activities on the international stage.

Burgmann was founded in Dresden in 1884 as a company trading in technical articles. The young enterprise produced innovative mechanically braided impregnated stuffing boxes and developed into a major seals producer over the coming decades. Today, the company's main product line is mechanical seals, which are used to seal rotating machinery, providing a reliable seal at temperatures ranging from -190şC to +450şC and pressures of up to 450 bar.

After the Second World War, the business moved to Starnberger See. Until its acquisition by Freudenberg, the company was owned by the Burgmann family. It is an economically successful enterprise and has recorded annual sales growth of more than 9% during the past few years. The sale is motivated by growing concentration on world markets as well as provisions in the will of Feodor Burgmann, who died in 1988. Under the terms of the will the Administrative Board, acting as executor, follows the development of the company until 2008 and decides on long-term developments jointly with the heirs.

Burgmann Industries is one of ten independent operative Business Groups in the Freudenberg Group. Burgmann Industries will be managed by Prof. Elmar Baur (former Burgmann Chief Executive Officer) and Dr. Walter Steinbach. They will be supported by Managing Director Christoph Mosmann and Jochen Strasser, who will act as Deputy Managing Director.

Freudenberg is an internationally active family company with a broad product range spanning seals and vibration control components, nonwovens, floor coverings and mechanical household cleaning products (vileda(r)) through to specialty lubricants. "We have been active in the seals business for many years, with the focus on the automotive industry and the general industry sector, and have always been looking for an opportunity to round off our range with high- quality mechanical seals," said Dr. Peter Stehle, Member of the Management Board of Freudenberg & Co. Excluding Burgmann Industries, Freudenberg records sales in the seals and vibration control technology segment of more than 2 billion Euro. The Freudenberg Group reported sales of some 4 billion Euro and employs 28,000 associates at 140 sites around the world.