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Kolektor Etra acquires Polish power tank maker for EUR 7m

Ljubljana, 19 November (STA) - The Ljubljana-based energy equipment maker Kolektor Etra has acquired the Polish company Weltech for EUR 7 million in what the company's management sees as a key acquisition in terms of market share, with Kolektor Etra outbidding two rival companies and two financial funds, the business newspaper Finance reports.

Based in Myslowice near Katowice and employing 180 people, Weltech last year generated EUR 9.6 million in revenue and operated with profit.

It produces power tanks and traction tanks, with their key clients including Germany's Siemens and France's JST Transformateurs, the latter being its previous majority owner.

Peter Novak, the commercial director of the Slovenian manufacturer of power transformers and power generator transformers, has told Finance that four more bidders had been in play to acquire Weltech.

It has outbid two industry rivals - Siemens and SGB - and two financial funds, Novak said, adding that the interest had been high as it was hard to find good and reliable suppliers of power tanks as one of the key components of power transformers.

According to Kolektor Etra director Tomaž Kmecl, producers of tanks are actually dictating the market, while Novak added that Weltech was punctual and reliable and was one of the best power tank producers in Europe.

The acquisition cost EUR 7 million, with a 51% stake going to Kolektor Etra and the remaining shares to three companies from the Kolektor group.

Asked whether there was concern about Siemens ceasing to order tanks from Weltech now that the rival company had acquired it, Novak said that nothing implied that Siemens had "something against us becoming owners of the Polish plant."

Even if Siemens indeed reduced its orders from Weltech, Kolektor Etra's "demand for tanks is higher than planned, so they will be supplied by our new Polish factory."

Kolektor Etra generated 90% of its revenue on foreign markets, with the Nordic countries accounting for almost half of the exports or 40% of total sales.

Last year it surpassed the EUR 100m mark in revenue and posted a EUR 4.5 million net profit, while plans for this year is to reach EUR 110 million in revenue.

In the summer, Kolektor Etra signed a deal to produce, supply and install seven 400 kW power transformers to the Finnish national grid operator Fingrid by 2023. Worth EUR 20 million, it is the largest in the company's history.

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