Electronic manufacturing plant of Katek in Leipzig.

Kontron acquires a majority stake in Katek

  • Kontron, a German specialist in embedded computing systems, is to acquire approximately 60% of the shares in the listed company Katek SE, for a consideration of around €129 million.
  • Katek is a German group specialising in electronic manufacturing and providing solutions for various industrial sectors such as solar energy and e-mobility.

With more than 3,200 employees, Katek generated estimated revenues of over €750 million in the 2023 financial year. The group has manufacturing sites in Europe, Asia and North America. Control electronics for photovoltaic systems and the fast-growing field of battery charging solutions for electric vehicles form an important part of its product range. It offers electronics manufacturing services, and power electronics solutions such as controllers for solar systems and inverters for solar energy storage.

The aim of the acquisition is to expand Kontron’s portfolio with solutions for the renewable energy sector and other industries. To achieve this, Katek’s products are expected to be enhanced by leveraging Kontron’s software expertise and IoT connectivity solutions. Based on Kontron’s operating system (K-OS), the products will be much more secure. They will include firewall functionality and the ability to connect to complex networks. They will also be remotely maintainable. Kontron’s aim is to bring Katek’s solutions into the IoT world as quickly as possible.

Following the completion of four acquisitions in 2023, this is the largest transaction in the history of the German company, which will have 8,000 employees. In July 2023, Kontron announced that it had signed an asset deal with Telit Cinterion. Under the terms of the agreement, the German group will acquire the Californian company’s automotive cellular modules business for €24.5 million. This business generated revenues of just over €100 million in 2022. Also in July 2023, Kontron acquired Comlab AG, a specialist in data communication repeaters for railways. This Swiss company generated sales of €20 million in 2022 and broke even. In September 2023, Kontron announced that it had acquired Altimate, a Romanian company specialising in urban and interurban mobility solutions, for €11.64 million. Altimate generated sales of €19.6 million and Ebitda of €1.8 million in 2022.

Kontron estimates that by 2024 its consolidated sales could exceed €1.9 billion, including the Katek business. Net profit will be around €100 million.

Completion of the share purchase agreement is still subject to a number of preconditions, in particular the granting of the necessary antitrust clearances, and is expected to take place by March 2024.