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Addtech adds one
STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Making its 60th acquisition—more or less—since it went public in 2001, Addtech Life Science has purchased all the shares of BioNordika Holding AB, the parent company of the BioNordika Group, which has subsidiaries in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
The BioNordika Group markets reagents and instruments for biomedical research, mainly in the pharmaceutical industry and at public institutions. The group has a strong position in the Nordic market and represents leading suppliers in areas such as cell and molecular biology as well as immunology and diagnostics, according to Addtech. The BioNordika Group has 24 employees and sales of approximately $12 million. Closing will take place immediately. The acquisition is estimated to have a marginally positive effect on Addtech's earnings per share during the current fiscal year.
Life science is one of four business areas in Addtech and has some 20 subsidiaries that account for about 20 percent of the group's annual turnover of $710 million. As such, it's one of the biggest companies in the Nordics in the IVD field.
"In our relatively small market, we have a good knowledge of the market dynamics," says Artur Aira, business area manager. "BioNordika has a strong position in the Nordics in their field, and therefore it was quite natural for us to approach them and start discussions."
He notes that BioNordika will very effectively complement Addtech's operations in the diagnostic business unit, which focuses on sales of reagents and equipment for healthcare laboratories in the Nordic region.
"By being part of the Addtech Group, we can keep our independence, but still utilize their network, knowledge and financial strength. In this way, we can further improve the offering to our customers and suppliers," says Dr. Olof Jantze, CEO of BioNordika Holding AB.
Addtech's strategy and structure is not uncommon in the Nordics, Aira observes.
"There are several groups that have many subsidiaries selling products from suppliers around the world that would like to have a partner rather than setting up their own operations in each of the four Nordic countries," he notes, adding that the company has more than 100 years of technology trading experience and that its mission is the same as it was when the original business began in 1906 as Bergman & Beving: to serve as an agent for foreign manufacturers by selling technologically sophisticated products to Nordic industry.
"Over the years, through economic booms, depressions, wars and the globalization of an industry undergoing incessant technological change, we have stood by our original mission," he says. "Our greatest competitive advantage had been our program of corporate acquisitions as part of our operating activities. The product range has expanded as technology advanced. In the mid-1960s, we entered an era of corporate acquisitions with the goal of complementing our existing operations with businesses in adjacent market segments."
Since then, acquisitions have been part of the company's operating activities, adding new business opportunities and skilled employees and managers, Aira adds.
"Addtech has had its ups and downs," he says. "The telecom crisis hit Addtech hard, but also served as a valuable lesson. An entire business segment disappeared when a whole industry moved to low-cost countries. Staying focused on value-creating technology trading, Addtech resolved to complement its business with companies in market segments that would remain in northern Europe in the future. The acquisition of MediTech in early 2005 laid the foundation for the Life Science business area and gave Addtech a crucial fourth core business with sales clearly tied to the Nordic region."
Currently, Addtech has about 1,600 employees in more than 100 subsidiaries that operate under their own brands.