BBS International, a German firm in the development and production of lightweight wheels for sports and passenger cars in the premium segment and a subsidiary of Punch International, announced that it has acquired the Hoboken, Belgium subsidiary of Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. Hayes Lemmerz is a global supplier of automotive and commercial highway wheels. Under the agreement, BBS has acquired all of the outstanding shares of stock of Hayes Lemmerz Belgie B.V.B.A., including its factory based in Hoboken (near Antwerp, Belgium). The Hoboken factory produces cast aluminium wheels for passenger cars and currently employs approximately 315 people. In addition, Punch Property International has entered into a definitive agreement with Hayes Lemmerz International – Georgia, Inc. to purchase the real estate and certain equipment of this Hayes Lemmerz subsidiary located in Gainesville, Georgia, USA. This acquisition is expected to be completed following cessation of Hayes Lemmerz’ production at the Gainesville factory. Last month, Hayes Lemmerz announced that it would close its factory in Gainesville, Georgia by the end of December 2008. The Gainesville factory is situated less than 15 miles from the BBS factory in Braselton. BBS will use the factory as its production plant to support its non-OEM activities in the USA. The purchase price of the transactions was not material to either party. “With the dollar being weak, our customers operating in the USA obviously want to source their wheels from local suppliers. “For us, this is an economical and efficient way to serve our customers not only in Germany, but also in the USA. “BBS’s long term focus is on the premium segment which is dominated by lightweight technologies such as flow-forming and forging,” said Guido Dumarey, CEO at Punch.