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Röchling Acquires Smart Card Manufacturer CircleSmartCard

Mannheim, Germany, June 19, 2008…The Röchling Group, based in Mannheim, Germany, has acquired a global market leader in smart card production – CircleSmartCard (CSC). The manufacturer of smart card bodies will be integrated into Röchling Technical Parts KG (RTP) retroactive to January 1, 2008.

RTP manufactures injection molded parts for the high-tech industry at its locations in Eppingen and Mainburg and at Röchling SGT in Weidenberg. Manufacturing is carried out at the highest technical level with a state-of-the-art degree of automation. The companies within the RTP Group complement one another with respect to their products and procedures. The Röchling Group is one of the largest companies in Europe in terms of processing engineering plastics using injection molding procedures.

CSC, located in Erfurt, manufactures smart card bodies and data carriers from thermoplastic materials also using injection molding procedures. Only a few companies in the world are technically able to manufacture highest quality standard injection-molded card bodies that not only comply with all of the required standards, but at the same time remain cost-efficient. A large portion of the card bodies produced worldwide is manufactured using a laminate procedure instead of an injection molding process. CSC is a global market leader in the injection molding niche.

Due to its expertise and market position, CSC is an ideal addition to the Röchling Group. “This acquisition provides us with the opportunity to further advance the development of the RTP Group,” explains Burckhard Frank, Chief Operating Officer of the Röchling Group. Röchling is already “at home” in the field of high-quality sophisticated applications in plastics injection molding. With the acquisition of CSC, a “small but powerful” world market leader with an extremely attractive niche product is added to the mix.

Established in 1999 in Erfurt, CSC supplies products to the global smart card market. The company has set its sights on developing new, customized card materials and improving the industrial production processes for new applications and markets. With 35 employees, CSC achieves annual sales of EUR 7 million.

“CSC’s continuing above-average growth will be made considerably easier due to the national and international locations of the globally operating Röchling Group,” affirms Dr. Reinhard Proske, Managing Director of CSC. Customer requests for additional manufacturing sites in the respective regional markets can now be met. The existing infrastructure will be better utilized by both CSC and its newly affiliated companies, resulting in increased synergy effects. CSC will further establish itself in the sharply growing global market for smart card bodies and grow faster than the competition.

According to Frank and Proske, the two companies are united by their high technical standards and the shared idea of utilizing the special capabilities acquired in Germany in new establishments in other countries as well in order to meet customers’ needs. The integration of CSC into the RTP Group will be simplified by the fact that there is no overlap in the product and customer portfolios. “As a medium-sized company, CSC is very well-suited to us and will be integrated into our Group very quickly,” underlines Georg Duffner, Chief Executive Officer of the Röchling Group. This purchase will enable the Röchling Group to further expand its business activities in the area of plastics processing according to plan. In the future as well, the company will have its eye primarily on acquiring those companies which exhibit high quality, medium-sized structures and production areas that complement or expand the portfolio of the Röchling Group.

Company Profile:
The Röchling Group, a worldwide operating plastics group with over 6,000 employees at 54 locations in 18 countries, stands for proficiency in plastics. Its two divisions, High-Performance Plastics and Automotive Plastics, concentrate on processing quality plastics into semi-finished products, components and systems for a wide range of industrial uses.
Röchling stands for innovative products and state-of-the-art process technology in plastics processing. The High-Performance Plastics division’s product range extends from semi-finished products such as sheets, rods, hollow and flat bars via sectional and cast parts to mechanically finished assembly units.
The Automotive Plastics division makes plastic parts for the automotive industry. They consist of technologically sophisticated products made of polymer materials and natural fiber plastic composites for the engine compartment, the underbody and the interior.