April 14, 2011

Jeff Caldwell
(804) 225-4260

Mike Griese, Managing Director
(757) 472-9400
Suzanne West
(804) 545-5806
Governor McDonnell Announces Supplier to STIHL Incorporated to Establish U.S. Headquarters in Virginia Beach
-BMZ Identified to Governor during Europe Trade Mission-

RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that BMZ USA, Inc., the U.S subsidiary of BMZ GmbH, the largest battery pack assembly company in Europe, will invest $500,000 to establish its U.S. headquarters in the City of Virginia Beach. The company will handle North American sales, assembly, distribution and some research and development of batteries, primarily lithium ion battery units for a variety of industry sectors, including: power tools; medical devices; defense; wind and solar energy; household items; industrial scanners and mobile data entry devices; and aerospace.

BMZ USA, Inc. will also import lithium ion batteries from Asia for assembly into various battery units, partner with local companies for the manufacture of plastic housings and wiring components that are designed by BMZ USA, and will assemble and distribute finished units to North American customers.

The company is a direct supplier to STIHL, Incorporated in Virginia Beach. The project will create 15 employees at start-up, with plans to grow to 50 after the first year.

On Governor McDonnell’s July 2010 Europe Trade Mission, BMZ was identified during a meeting with STIHL, Incorporated in Germany as a supplier that could be interested in Virginia.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McDonnell said, “I am delighted to see that STIHL has the confidence in Virginia to invite members of its supply chain to establish operations in the Commonwealth. An announcement like this is another example that trade missions are an excellent opportunity to strengthen our relationship with companies based overseas that already have a Virginia presence. Marketing overseas leads to solid partnerships and ultimately, jobs and investment for our citizens.”

“Virginia Beach has been a great fit for STIHL, and will be a great fit for BMZ USA, Inc.,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “In addition to the proximity to the Port of Virginia, this location will enable the company easy access to its existing and future North American customers.”

BMZ GmbH is based in Karlstein, Germany, and operates manufacturing facilities in China, Germany and Poland.

“After carefully researching several states on the East Coast, we decided to locate BMZ USA in Virginia”, says Sven Bauer, Managing Director of BMZ GmbH. “Virginia Beach was especially attractive because of its large community of international companies, some with which we already have business relationships. The proximity to the international port, infrastructure, abundance of qualified personnel and the assistance from the Economic Development office helped us finalize our decision.”

Virginia Economic Development Partnership-International Investment’s Brussels office worked with the company and the Virginia Beach Economic Development Office to secure the project.

“We know BMZ officials looked at several other cities before they made the decision to open their headquarters in Virginia Beach,” says Warren D. Harris, Director of Virginia Beach Economic Development. “Their commitment to developing new sustainable energy technologies matches perfectly with the goals of the City of Virginia Beach, as well as our business community.”


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