Broetje-Automation Group: a successful composition



The brief

From the Northwest of Germany, Broetje -Automation Group has become the world’s leading expert in specialised production processes in the aviation and aerospace industry, servicing all major aircraft manufacturers around the world. Since the first major acquisition in 2007, Broetje has relied on transaction advisory services rendered by HLB member firms to support its global expansion.

How we helped

Today, Broetje operations include presence in the US, the UK, France, Russia and China. Major projects concern not only the delivery of individual equipment items, but the set-up and commissioning of whole production sites. In the course of this growth process, HLB member firms from several countries under the lead of HLB Stückmann, Bielefeld, Germany, have helped to successfully acquire local suppliers and distributors, implement efficient distribution vehicles and a tax efficient intra-group cooperation strategy

Quote 1: “What we do appreciate with HLB International is the fact that we know, value and trust our contact partners. The worldwide network cooperates to design pragmatic and convenient solutions to support our growth”. – Ingo Körner, CFO of the Broetje-Automation Group

HLB’s approach has involved member firms and lead to direct contacts at local level in a well-coordinated manner. To date, a team of ten professionals located in Bielefeld covers and coordinates the services in the fields of tax compliance, international taxation, transfer pricing, staff secondment, corporate restructuring, M&A and legal services, mainly concerning contractual structuring. It is the intra-disciplinary approach covering accounting, tax advisory and legal services, all coordinated to suit the operative and strategic needs of Broetje-Automation, which manifests the success of the mutual cooperation.

Quote 2: “The strong individual relationships between the responsible client partners in the relevant jurisdictions —Germany, US, UK, Russia, China and Japan— based on years of international cooperation, professional experiences and personal relationships developed at HLB’s international conferences, tested in mutual client servicing, allow for this outstanding performance in a world of international players.” – Arnold Stange, Partner at HLB Stückmann.

The end result

In the UK, Menzies have advised Broetje at the GmbH level and with the set-up of a new UK company. In relation to both entities we have had to coordinate the UK position with HLB Stückmann to ensure that the advice has been understood and consistent in both countries. Throughout this process we have developed closer working relationships and a greater appreciation of the cross-border implications for German companies doing business in the UK. It is this type of strong relationships and the constant sharing of knowledge throughout the HLB network that provides us with the ability to confidently service international clients.

In the US, Withum Smith+Brown assisted Broetje through two major transitions: moving their US headquarters from Omaha, Nebraska to Buffalo, New York, as well as a change in personnel in the finance & accounting department which occurred as part of the move of headquarters. Currently, we assist Broetje USA with their year-end income tax provision, in addition to handling their US tax compliance filings. We work closely with the Broetje team to minimise the tax liability on the myriad of US tax filings. We’re also helping with Broetje Automation (Germany) regarding prior-year state income tax filings required despite the German entity not having a Permanent Establishment in the US.


In France, the Broetje project started in the summer of 2011 with negotiations conducted together with HLB Stückmann to acquire a majority take in the capital of a French company located in South France. Since that time, Broetje as well as the HLB team in Germany have regularly contacted us in France for tax, social and legal issues encountered by Broetje. This joint work has strengthened our network and common relationship.

In China, we have worked together with HLB Stückmann to support Broetje’s understanding of the taxes incurred in China for their projects, helped with the Chinese company setup in Shanghai and provided continuous accounting service, tax filing and financial reporting service to Broetje Shanghai on whom we performed both statutory and group audit. HLB ThinkBridge has continuously communicated and coordinated with HLB Stückmann on Broetje, with mutual updates on a responsive and regular basis ensuring the success of this project.