Kontron acquires Katek for €130m

  • January 24, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

German industrial computer company Kontron has acquired 60% of the shares in Katek, a pioneer in renewable energy and e-mobility.

The aim of the acquisition is to expand Kontron’s portfolio with smart technology for renewable energies and other industries. To achieve this, Katek’s products are set to be upgraded with Kontron’s software and IoT connectivity. This is expected to improve Katek’s gross margin by around 5% in the medium term.

Based on the Kontron operating system (K-OS), the products will become more secure, they will have firewall functionality and the capability to connect to complex grids, and can also be maintained remotely. The aim is to bring Katek into the IoT world as quickly as possible.

“With the acquisition of Katek, we are expanding our presence in the high-growth area of clean energy in a targeted manner and strengthening the aerospace division at Kontron with the Katek subsidiary Nexte,” said Hannes Niederhauser, CEO of Kontron. “The clean energy sector holds considerable potential for the future. Upgrading with Kontron software will increase gross margins by around 5% in the medium term, thereby increasing profitability at Katek as well.”

The purchase price per share is €15.00 for around 8.6 million shares, making a total of just under €130m. The transaction is expected to be completed by March 2024. Kontron is buying the shares from previous majority shareholder Primepulse (primepulse.com).

Katek (katek-group.de) is a European electronics company that offers products in the fields of solar energy and e-mobility. With more than 3200 employees, Katek generated estimated revenue of more than €750m in 2023 and has locations in Europe, Asia and North America. Control electronics for photovoltaic systems and the rapidly growing area of intelligent charging for electric vehicles are an important part of the product range.

After obtaining control, Kontron plans to delist Katek from the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Following a delisting, it is planned that the management and supervisory boards of Katek will step down. It is also planned that Johannes Fues, currently a member of the management board of Katek, will join the executive board of Kontron as chief operating officer with responsibility for green technology.

“The acquisition of Katek is a real gamechanger for Kontron,” said Niederhauser. “It takes us into a new dimension in every respect. With approximately 8000 employees and cumulative estimated revenue of around €1.9bn, Kontron now has a new size in the market. Added to this is the expertise gained in the promising market of renewable energy. And so, at the start of the year, we can already raise our recently issued guidance for the 2024 business year. With the increased technological upgrade of Katek products, we expect Kontron’s net earnings to increase significantly in the medium term.”

Kontron (www.kontron.com) is an IoT technology company. For more than 20 years, Kontron has been supporting companies from a wide range of industries to achieve their business goals with intelligent technology. From automated industrial operations, smarter and safer transport to advanced communications, medical and energy, the company delivers technologies that add value.