Dear Colleagues, it is a reality: With immediate effect, Haas is now a member of Bühler. What we jointly announced in early September 2017 has been accomplished this week.
Even last year, all antitrust authorities had given their unreserved approval of the transaction, which means that all the legal conditions for the closing were fulfilled. As we said in our first announcement, the Haas family has fully withdrawn from the business. In other words: what we announced is now a reality, and we warmly welcome all our new Colleagues at Haas to the Bühler Family.
The news came as a surprise to customers and employees alike. But this initial emotion quickly gave way to openness, curiosity, and approval. Many customers immediately recognized the deeper meaning of this step and sent us letters and e-mail messages expressing their acknowledgment. And within both Haas and Bühler, everyone who in the past weeks had the opportunity of familiarizing themselves with this integration can now no longer wait to get going – showing just how obvious the added value is that we can generate both for our customers and ourselves.
Now, at last, we can set off on our journey together. We will not hesitate to make every effort to coordinate and align our marketing activities. On the one hand, we share many customers whom we can offer more comprehensive and efficient support as key accounts – just take Nestlé, Ferrero, and Mondelēz as examples. On the other hand, Haas as well as Bühler are introducing long-standing customer relationships to the new entity which had been missing on the other party's list. Together, we can expand our competencies in developing integral value chains and unlock doors for each other. An initial analysis has shown that this is the case not only for Haas in relationship to the Bühler Consumer Foods business, but for all Bühler Grains&Food business areas.
In the medium term, one of the next top priorities will be to make the Bühler services network accessible to Haas products, where we expect a veritable boost in the maintenance and spare parts business of Haas. This will benefit customers by offering them better availability and efficiency of their plant and equipment and ourselves by generating additional business. We then plan to have the first integrated solutions ready on the basis of a unified portfolio. In the longer term, the integration of Haas in the innovation management organization of Bühler will lead to entirely new concepts and products, with digital services forming a focal area in this connection. Needless to say that we will launch concrete projects as soon as possible here, too. But due to their long lead times, a certain period of time will be needed before they are ready for the marketplace.
This means that our actual task has now begun. In this, our aim is to occupy ourselves as little as possible with our own concerns and to focus completely on creating value for our customers. The conditions required for turning our joint plans into a shared success are second to none: the products of Haas and Bühler complement each other perfectly; the two companies enjoy an outstanding reputation as high-quality providers, are marked by respect, and are both equally characterized by their trusting corporate culture as family-owned companies.
Dear Employees, we can start the New Year full of optimism. With Haas as a new member of the Bühler Family, we have laid a solid and promising foundation for a bright future, with the prospect of becoming the clear leaders also in the Consumer Foods market. A growing global economy is giving us an additional boost. So, what we must do now is tackle the task ahead of us in line with the philosophy of both Bühler and Haas, taking a systematic and determined approach while remaining considerate, responsible, and with sustainability in mind. We thank you for your cooperation, support, and commitment. Kind regards, Stefan Scheiber, CEO Bühler & Germar Wacker, CEO Haas