UTAC CERAM, a France-based automotive testing facility, has reached an agreement to merge its operations with UK-based Millbrook, with the aim of creating a market-leading group in vehicle testing, homologation and emerging technologies for autonomous, connected and electric vehicles. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory clearances. The parties say that the merger would double the combined group’s revenues.
The combined group will draw on technological assets and technical expertise to meet the rapidly changing environment facing the automotive industry. This new alliance is intended to generate multiple synergies, combining customer portfolios, developing an extended range of services, and leveraging technological resources, human expertise and geographical coverage.
Millbrook brings expertise in automotive electric driveline development, in particular through its battery and electric drivetrain test centres based in the UK and the USA. These services will complement UTAC CERAM’s expertise in ADAS and Euro NCAP testing and in cybersecurity, connectivity and simulation, as deployed in its Teqmo autonomous vehicle test centre.
The group will operate several test centres throughout the world: in France at the Linas-Montlhéry and Mortefontaine facilities, in the UK in Bedford and Leyland, in the USA in Detroit and California, in Finland at a vehicle test facility with indoor and outdoor winter testing tracks, and in Morocco with a new test centre offering a track where vehicles are exposed to extreme heat (scheduled to open in 2021).
The combined group will have the capability to offer a more extensive and comprehensive range of services including: the delivery of complex certification and testing programmes; the testing of vehicles and tyres in hot and cold climates; designing and delivering bespoke customer solutions, and working with global brand partners to develop the connected electric vehicles of the future. A broad international reach will be combined with local understanding of clients’ operational environments and key technologies.
The new group, which will be headed by Laurent Benoit, the current President of UTAC CERAM, will leverage its internal resources, international network and the support of its shareholders, especially its majority shareholder, Eurazeo, to pursue a strategy of innovation and to consolidate its markets in Europe and the world.
Laurent Benoit stated, “The arrival of Eurazeo as a shareholder, and FCDE’s support, opened the door for our group to access additional resources to improve the pace of growth around the world. The alliance with Millbrook represents a fantastic opportunity for our teams and a decisive step that allows us to continue supporting manufacturers and equipment suppliers along their industrial, societal and technological journey, as we have done with passion and pride since 1945.”
Connor McCormack, president of Millbrook added, “The highly complementary skills, services and technologies of UTAC CERAM and Millbrook will enable us to extend our offering, which will benefit our customers the world over. In the year of our 50th anniversary, combining the two businesses positions us well to lead the market in technical testing, vehicle homologation and new technology. It is an exciting adventure in which everyone at Millbrook is proud to be involved.”