Merker, Viberti and Cardi now operating under Wielton banner

The acquisition of insolvent Italian family business Compagnia Italiana Rimorchi (CIR) by Polish OEM Wielton has now been finalised.

The buoyant Polish manufacturing business has reportedly purchased long-standing CIR brands Merker, Viberti and Cardi, as well as select machinery, equipment and intellectual property.

While IP and branding rights have an estimated worth of €2.2 million, the machinery package Wielton acquired – including robotic welding lines and a fully automatic KTL line for corrosion protection – set back the OEM around €2.4 million net plus VAT.

According to Wielton, the move has seen the OEM double its production capacity overnight, with the Italian troika now operating under the roof of newly founded Wielton subsidiary, Italiana Rimorchi Srl.

“Wielton customers will now have wider access to top-quality products manufactured through the use of innovative technology,” commented newly appointed Wielton CEO, Mariusz Golec.

Golec added he was optimistic that having leading Italian brands on board will help the Polish company extend its footprint in the west and south of Europe, even though the integration process continues to be challenging.

“The purchase of the CIR assets opens the way for Wielton to becoming the third largest European manufacturer of semi-trailers,” he said in reference to the acquisition of French market leader Fruehauf in May, which saw Wielton publically challenge Europe’s trailer building elite.

“Both moves reflect Wielton’s key landmark projects for this year, [even though] we are facing many challenges related to the integration of all main assets in a single organisation within the Wielton Group. However, we are very well prepared for this project. I am convinced that this is the best moment for the further development of Wielton.”

Golec pointed out that Cardi, Merker and Viberti account for close to 100 years of experience in trailer building and are still synonymous with quality and reliability in Italy.

“The sales potential of the three brands is currently estimated at 15-20 per cent of market share,” he said.

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