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Bosch North America

Bosch Power Tools acquires parts of the Freud Group

Bosch further expands its business with power tool accessories
• In the accessories business, Freud generated sales of 100 million euros in 2007
• Planned acquisition of the four Freud Group manufacturing sites in Italy, as well as sales companies in North America, China, Italy and the UK
• Freud power tool accessories business is an excellent regional and technological addition to Bosch portfolio
• Pozzo family will continue to be involved in the business following Bosch acquisition

Stuttgart – Bosch is to acquire the power tool accessories business of the Freud Group, headquartered in Milan, Italy. With this acquisition, Bosch is adding to its existing range of power tool accessories, especially high-performance circular-saw blades and router bits. The acquisition is subject to approval by the authorities. The companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

The Freud Group is a global supplier of circular-saw blades, router bits and cutters for enthusiast woodworkers, professional and industrial users. These products are mainly manufactured in four locations around the city of Udine in northeastern Italy. In this area of activity, the company employs some 580 associates worldwide and generated sales of 100 million euros in 2007.

“Freud is an innovative supplier of high-quality circular-saw blades, routers and cutters for professional users in trade and industry. The company is successful worldwide in these segments, especially in North America,” said Uwe Raschke, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and president of the Power Tools division. “This makes Freud a perfect addition to our business, both technologically and regionally. As we further expand this business, we will build on the experience and extensive know-how of Freud associates and managers,” Raschke continued.

“In our opinion, Bosch is the best possible partner for the Freud power tool accessories business, and will help it to continue its development worldwide and particularly in North America. Freud know-how and manufacturing competence will certainly strengthen the current Bosch position in this segment,” said Gino Pozzo, managing director of Freud SpA and son of the founder Gianpaolo Pozzo. Gianpaolo and Gino Pozzo will continue to accompany the development of Freud’s accessories business over the next three years as consultants. The family will be represented on various governing bodies and, together with Bosch, help to shape the company´s future.

Freud is Bosch’s fifth strategic acquisition this year to strengthen its Power Tools division. In January and July 2008, Bosch expanded its measuring-tools business by acquiring the Chinese specialist RoboToolz and the U.S. company CST/berger. A few weeks ago, Bosch also purchased parts of the garden irrigation business of L.R. Nelson Corporation, based in Peoria, Ill., strengthening its range of garden irrigation products. In addition, it has acquired the majority shareholding in Sia Abrasives, a Swiss manufacturer of flexible abrasive systems.

With power tools, accessories, garden tools, and measuring technology, the Bosch Power Tools division generated sales of 3.1 billion euros in 2007. The division employs a global workforce of roughly 16,000 associates.

About the Bosch Group
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology as well as consumer goods and building technology, some 271,000 associates generated sales of 46.3 billion euros in fiscal 2007. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiary and regional companies in roughly 50 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than three billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.”

The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.

About the Freud Group
Founded in Udine (Italy) by the Pozzo family in the early 1960’s with the production of braze-welded cutters, the Freud Group has established as manufacturer and marketer of superior carbide cutting tools, with some 1000 associates and worldwide distribution network.

Freud's product selection includes diamond-sharp saw blades, router bits, shaper cutters, planer knives and power tools, Freud leads the industry in innovative manufacturing, precision products and quality service.


Bosch Power Tools acquires parts of Freud Group - December 2008

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