Hella jettisons software subsidiary Aglaia
The business activities to be sold are currently located at Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH, a subsidiary of Hella for the development of AI-supported image processing software. In the course of the sale, around half of Hella Aglaia’s workforce is to be transferred to Car.Software Org, which Volkswagen launched at the beginning of the year as a cross-brand unit for software development.
Hella announced that the exit from the front camera software business was based on “stringent portfolio management”. The sale is based on the strategic criteria of technology leadership, market leadership and the fulfilment of certain financial key figures. “If we cannot achieve one of these three criteria with a product in the long term, we will not pursue the corresponding business activities any further,” said Hella CEO Rolf Breidenbach. The Hella announcement indirectly indicates that the software subsidiary, which was only founded a few years ago, has either not achieved its technical development targets or has swallowed too much money.
“With the takeover of Hella’s camera software division and the associated know-how in image processing, we are continuing our strategy of developing essential software components internally in future. In doing so, we are further advancing the development of competence in the Car.Software Org in the field of machine vision and strengthening our position in the development of safe and innovative driving functions,” says Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of Car.Software Org.
Hella Aglaia’s business activities in the fields of energy management, lighting control and people sensing are not affected by the sale. Breidenbach emphasised that the company will continue to invest in future automotive topics such as electromobility, automated driving, software and digitalisation. With a newly founded Global Software House, for example, which is anchored at Hella Aglaia, Hella is further expanding its worldwide software competences. At the same time, Hella continues to invest in essential key components for assisted and autonomous driving. These include in particular the fields of radar sensor technology and steering electronics.
The transaction is subject to approval by the responsible antitrust authorities and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. If the transaction is successfully concluded, it will lead to extraordinary income in the region of approximately 100 million euros.