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The summer of acquisitions

Three important Slovenian companies changed hands: ICTprovider Iskratel, prefabricated building components manufacturer Trimo and biotech company Bia Separations were acquired by Austrian, Irish, and German strategic buyers.

One of the key acquisitions of the year was for sure the purchase of Iskratel Group this summer by Austrian S&T AG. Iskratel is one of the leading European ICT providers for the digital transformation of the telecommunications, transport, public safety, and energy industries. The 70-year-old company based in Kranj, one of Slovenia’s most important industrial centers, has around 900 employees and 115 million euros of revenues. The Austrian S&T group employs 4,900 people and is present in 32 countries around the world. The new member of the group will bring many important synergies, both in markets and in technologies. Iskratel’s IIOT (Industrial internet of things) software and 5G technologies complement S&T’s product range well and will allow the group to strengthen its position in the company’s key areas: smart factories and 5G equipment for high speed trains. Iskratel’s advantages also include a strong R&D department, presence in over 50 countries, and an excellent reputation on Eastern European markets. The purchase price of Iskratel Group was set at 37.5 million euros.

Another important acquisition was the sale of Trimo in August. The producer of prefabricated building components was bought by Irish building materials company Kingspan. Trimo is based in Trebnje near Novo mesto in southeastern Slovenia and is the second largest global producer of fireproof panels with mineral wool cores. The company employs around 500 people in its factories in Slovenia and Serbia. Trimo’s customers include London’s Heathrow Airport, IKEA, Mercedes Benz, Airbus, DHL and many others.

Yet the acquisition of the year was surely the sale of one of Slovenia’s best tech champions: Bia Separations. The biotech company from Ajdovščina is a key producer of equipment used in the production and analysis of large biomolecules – for example those used in gene therapies. Bia Separations was sold to German Sartorius group and has become a part of the group’s Stedim Biotech division. Sartorius is the leading producer of equipment for the biopharmaceutical industry with over 9,000 employees and 1.8 billion euros of revenues. Bia Separations will become Sartorius’ center of excellence for purification for gene and cell therapies. The company has around 120 employees and was sold for 360 million euros.

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