*Editor's Note: This article was originally published July 2022 and updated in February 2023 with additional information.
On February 3, Bosch Rexroth completed its acquisition of HydraForce upon receiving approval from antitrust authorities. HydraForce will join Bosch Rexroth's Compact Hydraulics portfolio, helping to further expand the business unit's product offering and customer support.
The companies initially signed the acquisition agreement on July 15, 2022.
Although both companies offer various compact hydraulic products, HydraForce will bring its expertise in development of mechanical and electrical cartridge valves and hydraulic integrated circuits (HIC) which will help complement Bosch Rexroth's current portfolio.
According to Bosch Rexroth, the merger of the two companies' products will enable a broader range of offerings to meet varied customer needs as well as aid with the regionalization of supply chains — a growing focus for many companies to more easily meet customer demand.
"With Bosch Rexroth, we found a great partner who values and shares similar views on innovation, customer focus, application expertise, and culture. I believe the new ownership will create great opportunities for our customers, partners and employees and lead to sustained growth," said Mike Terzich, president and CEO of HydraForce.
Managers from Bosch Rexroth and HydraForce will comprise the leadership team for the Compact Hydraulics Business Unit which will be headed by Frank Hess who currently leads the unit.
"As HydraForce and Bosch Rexroth join forces, we will combine our customer focus, application expertise and entrepreneurial know-how to achieve sustained growth above market. Together, we will continue to provide excellent support and innovations for our customers, further develop our strong relationships with partners, and open great opportunities for our associates," said Hess.
Combined Expertise will aid Market Growth
The acquisition of HydraForce will enable Bosch Rexroth to expand its footprint in North America by growing its sales network and gaining access to more markets. "By acquiring HydraForce, we are expanding our presence in complementary geographies and developing a more balanced footprint in Europe and North America, while also enabling growth in Asia," said Rolf Najork, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and CEO of Bosch Rexroth AG, in the company's press release announcing the acquisition.
HydraForce employs 2,100 people at six production sites located in the U.S., Brazil, Great Britain and China. Bosch Rexroth's Compact Hydraulics business includes approximately 1,800 employees at locations in China, the U.S., Germany and Italy.
The merger of these companies will expand the workforce and manufacturing capacity to help meet ongoing demand for hydraulic components, particularly in heavy-duty mobile equipment applications which is a strong market segment for both companies. This market is also expected to see continued growth in the coming years.
In addition, HydraForce noted in its press release announcing the acquisition the companies' regional sales structures are also complementary to one another. Bringing their sales activities together will create a well-balanced entity in North/South America and Europe, as well as support further growth in Asia Pacific stated HydraForce in its press release.
HydraForce will also help improve global market access for Bosch Rexroth to indirect sales channels such as dealers and system integrators which benefits the company's long-term goals.
"With its diversified portfolio and international setup, Bosch Rexroth has a strong foundation. The acquisition of HydraForce expands our global market access through indirect sales channels: Sales partners and system integrators will become important target groups. In these challenging times, we are also helping to stabilize regional supply chains so that we can support our customers even better," said Hess.
Integration of the two companies has begun; customers and suppliers will continue to be served by their respective sales and purchasing teams. For now, HydraForce will operate under its own branding. The newly formed Compact Hydraulics Business Unit will operate from the current locations of Lincolnshire, IL and Nonantola, Italy.