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Acquisition of ILS Gruppe gives Imtech strong position in Austrian ICT market
Chairman René van der Bruggen of Imtech sees the acquisition as an important step forward: 'On the one hand, this strengthens our ICT position in Europe and on the other hand, it enables us to gain a basic position in Austria, being one of the countries in Europe in which we are striving for a strong strategic position. Acquisitions earlier this year (total revenue of more than 59 million euro), gained Imtech ICT positions in the UK, Belgium and Switzerland and strengthened our position in Germany. So we're showing good progress with the expansion of our European ICT position. ILS performs well and fits perfectly with Imtech. What is striking is the broad profile and large number of IT specialties and product/market combinations. Moreover, this acquisition means that we will again tighten our partnerships with IBM and Microsoft. Imtech has the ambition to become one of IBM and Microsoft's strongest partners in Europe in the near future. ILS will focus on further growth in Austria and expanding our ICT position in several countries in Eastern Europe, in which the ICT markets are developing rapidly.'
ILS was founded in 1994, and over the years, it has grown to be one of the strongest players in the Austrian ICT market. ILS is both the biggest IBM partner in Austria and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. With 225 employees, ILS reached revenues of about 65 million euro in the 2007/2008 split fiscal year. The business is active in Austria (head office in Linz and locations in Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and Dornbirn) and is increasingly active in Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia.
With almost 750 clients ILS is active across the entire scope of the ICT market and is specialised in IT services, among which consultancy, implementation, security, server applications, IT management (more than 200 service contracts) & training, as well as support, hosting and outsourcing based on IBM, Microsoft and VMWare solutions. Additionally ILS provides unique software solutions for commerce, logistics, warehouse and transportation management. ILS also stands out in high-tech logistical IT solutions for post companies, among which the Austrian Post, French Post and Slovak Parcel Service.
The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval from the Austrian competition authority.
ILS is characterised by strong structural growth in all of its active product/market combinations. Under the wings of financially strong Imtech, this growth will gain a new dimension. This will also be aided by the healthy synergy that ILS has with Fritz und Macziol, Imtech's German ICT company. Along these lines, Fritz und Macziol's Austrian activities will be integrated in ILS. This integration complements and reinforces the portfolio of ILS. The management and all employees of Fritz und Macziol in Austria (an important IBM partner in hardware and software consisting of about 25 persons) will remain in place, which guarantees continuity. Imtech is now one of the strongest ICT players in the so-called DACH countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
The acquisition price amounts to 6,5 times the EBITA and will be paid in cash. ILS has near to none interest-bearing net debt. Imtech finances this acquisition through existing financial facilities. After this acquisition Imtech's balance is strong enough to execute it's strategy for 2012.
Imtech combines electrical and mechanical engineering with information and communication technology (ICT) to create complete technical solutions. The proportion of information and communication technology is growing rapidly. Imtech's total technological solutions are increasingly dominated by business intelligence and umbrella ICT applications. Strategically, the expansion of Imtech's European ICT activities is also important. Imtech is focusing specifically on strengthening this position as business partner to IBM and Microsoft. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, Imtech has already earned itself a strong position on the ICT market as an IBM and Microsoft partner. The ambition is to build a similar position in other European countries via acquisition. The acquisition of ILS Group in Austria fits perfectly into this strategic framework.
In addition, Imtech hopes to geographically expand its activities in Europe. Alongside strong positions in the Benelux area, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Spain and Eastern Europe, Imtech's focus includes strengthening its position in Austria, and the first big step in that direction is the acquisition of ILS. In terms of strategy, Imtech also wants to grow in several countries in Eastern Europe. ILS will take the lead in this process regarding the ICT activities.
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