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Spain’s Fersa Bearings takes control of Austria’s NKE

26 November, 2018

The Spanish bearings manufacturer Fersa Bearings has acquired 100% of the Austrian bearings-maker NKE, completing a process that started in in 2016, when the Fersa bought 49% of NKE’s shares. With the acquisition of the remaining 51%, NKE is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Fersa and there are two commercial brands: Fersa for the automotive sector; and NKE for the industrial sector. Fersa has not ruled out adding further brands to its portfolio in the near future.

The merger strengthens the group’s presence in central Europe – part of Fersa’s commitment to the internationalisation that began in 2002 when the investment capital firm Going Investment took a stake in the business. Since then, Fersa has evolved into a group with four production centres, six distribution centres and four r&d centres – two in Europe and two in Asia – supporting a presence in more than 95 countries with a global workforce of more than 500 people.

The two brands are expected to generate a turnover of more than €80m in 2018 with an Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of more than €9m. “In 2020, we expect to reach a turnover of more than €110m and an Ebitda of 15% on sales,” adds Fersa's CEO, Carlos Oehling.

Fersa has had a positive effect on the NKE business since its initial investment, with earnings rising from from €17m in 2015, with a negative Ebitda, to an expected €25m in 2018, with an Ebitda of almost €2m. This momentum has been driven by strong investment in NKE’s engineering capacity and its presence in Asia, which has consolidated its image as a premium-level manufacturer.

The bearing manufacturers are positioning themselves as strategic suppliers to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and distributors in their particular markets. Fersa plans to invest further in its facilities worldwide, especially in digitisation and expanding its production and logistics capacities.

NKE has been investing in its production facilities in Steyr, Austria

“Investments in the NKE facilities in Steyr, Austria, include a new fully automated production line to meet the demands of European OEMs with a philosophy of production in the region for the region,” reports NKE’s managing director, Thomas Witzler.

Fersa is expanding its headquarters in Zaragoza, Spain, including the construction of a new 5,000m2 warehouse with two new automated manufacturing lines, with investment expected to reach €16m by 2020.

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