Rheinmetall forms new joint venture with China's Hasco

FRANKFURT/BERLIN Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:07am EDT

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FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) - Rheinmetall will shift a unit making aluminum engine blocks to a joint venture with China's Hasco to help finance growth at its automotive business, the German defense group said on Tuesday.

Duesseldorf-based Rheinmetall said KS Aluminium-Technologie GmbH and Hasco, which is majority-owned by automotive group SAIC, will be equal partners in the joint venture, which will combine existing production capacities in Germany and China.

Rheinmetall and Hasco have three joint ventures making, among other products, pistons and cylinder heads.

Plans for the joint venture were reported earlier on Tuesday by Germany's business daily Handelsblatt.

KS Aluminium-Technologie has about 1,000 employees and generates annual revenue of 200 million euros ($270.5 million).

Hasco, one of China's largest auto suppliers counting Volkswagen and General Motors among its customers, generated revenue of 15.5 billion euros last year with about 80,000 employees.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Andreas Cremer; Editing by Alan Raybould and Louise Heavens)

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