Addtech adds one

Addtech Life Science closes acquisition of BioNordika

Lloyd Dunlap
STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Making its 60thacquisition—more or less—since it went public in 2001, Addtech Life Science haspurchased all the shares of BioNordika Holding AB, the parent company of theBioNordika Group, which has subsidiaries in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norwayand Sweden.
 
 
The BioNordika Group markets reagents and instruments forbiomedical research, mainly in the pharmaceutical industry and at publicinstitutions. The group has a strong position in the Nordic market andrepresents leading suppliers in areas such as cell and molecular biology aswell as immunology and diagnostics, according to Addtech. The BioNordika Grouphas 24 employees and sales of approximately $12 million. Closing will takeplace immediately. The acquisition is estimated to have a marginally positiveeffect on Addtech's earnings per share during the current fiscal year. 
 
Life science is one of four business areas in Addtech andhas some 20 subsidiaries that account for about 20 percent of the group'sannual turnover of $710 million. As such, it's one of the biggest companies inthe Nordics in the IVD field. 
 
"In our relatively small market, we have a good knowledge ofthe market dynamics," says Artur Aira, business area manager. "BioNordika has astrong position in the Nordics in their field, and therefore it was quitenatural for us to approach them and start discussions."
 
 
He notes that BioNordika will very effectively complementAddtech's operations in the diagnostic business unit, which focuses on sales ofreagents and equipment for healthcare laboratories in the Nordic region. 
 
 
"By being part of the Addtech Group, we can keep ourindependence, but still utilize their network, knowledge and financialstrength. In this way, we can further improve the offering to our customers andsuppliers," says Dr. Olof Jantze, CEO of BioNordika Holding AB.
 
 
Addtech's strategy and structure is not uncommon in theNordics, Aira observes.
 
 
"There are several groups that have many subsidiariesselling products from suppliers around the world that would like to have apartner rather than setting up their own operations in each of the four Nordiccountries," he notes, adding that the company has more than 100 years oftechnology trading experience and that its mission is the same as it was whenthe original business began in 1906 as Bergman & Beving: to serve as anagent for foreign manufacturers by selling technologically sophisticatedproducts to Nordic industry.
 
 
"Over the years, through economic booms, depressions, warsand the globalization of an industry undergoing incessant technological change,we have stood by our original mission," he says. "Our greatest competitiveadvantage had been our program of corporate acquisitions as part of ouroperating activities. The product range has expanded as technology advanced. Inthe mid-1960s, we entered an era of corporate acquisitions with the goal ofcomplementing our existing operations with businesses in adjacent marketsegments."
 
 
Since then, acquisitions have been part of the company'soperating activities, adding new business opportunities and skilled employeesand managers, Aira adds.
 
 
"Addtech has had its ups and downs," he says. "The telecomcrisis hit Addtech hard, but also served as a valuable lesson. An entirebusiness segment disappeared when a whole industry moved to low-cost countries.Staying focused on value-creating technology trading, Addtech resolved tocomplement its business with companies in market segments that would remain innorthern Europe in the future. The acquisition of MediTech in early 2005 laidthe foundation for the Life Science business area and gave Addtech a crucialfourth core business with sales clearly tied to the Nordic region."
 
 
Currently, Addtech has about 1,600 employees in more than100 subsidiaries that operate under their own brands.
 


Lloyd Dunlap

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