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Huber+Suhner acquires BKtel Group for CHF 50M

02 Oct 2019

To strengthen its position in the WAN / Access optical networks "core markets".

Huber + Suhner, a Switzerland-based manufacturer of components and systems for optical and electrical connectivity, has signed a purchase agreement to acquire BKtel, a manufacturer of fiber amplifiers and fiber lasers for LIDAR, telecommunication, cable TV, FTTH and more. The purchase price is approximately CHF 50 million (€45.7 M / $50 M).

BKtel has three locations in Germany and holds majority participations in two companies in France and Japan. With 150 employees, the company generates sales of around CHF 45 million.

The company develops, manufactures and implements active and passive components for broadband networks and has extensive expertise in fiber-to-the-home, hybrid fiber coax and distributed access architecture as well as optical signal processing.

Subject to the approval of the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office), the deal is expected to close in December 2019. The acquisition will be financed exclusively from Huber + Suhner’s own funds.

BKtel was founded in 1997 as part of a management buy-out by former employees of Alcatel Kabel Deutschland. In addition to the founders, who hold the majority of BKtel, BWK Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft is also among the owners.

Its product range includes optical transmission devices such as transmitters, amplifiers and receivers as well as cable TV headends and radio frequency amplifiers. The company also plans, installs and commissions these systems for network operators. BKtel achieves the majority of its sales in Germany. An additional boost in this geographic core market is likely to come from the German government's plans to expand the broadband network.

BKtel Photonics in France develops various optical amplifier and fiber laser technologies, which are to be used both in optical transmission technology and in the future-oriented field of 3D scanners (LIDAR), for example in 3D landscape scanning or for surveying the vehicle surroundings during autonomous driving.

‘Strengthening market position’

"This acquisition will significantly strengthen our position in the core market WAN / Access Networks," commented Urs Ryffel, CEO of Huber+Suhner. "BKtel has a strong position with important network operators in Germany. This will enable us in future to offer these customers complete network solutions consisting of active and passive components from a single source.

“The BKtel know-how ideally complements the existing competencies of Huber+Suhner with active access network components and data laser technology. With BKtel, we are also acquiring an economically strong company that will contribute to the profitability of HUBER+SUHNER from day one."

Dr. Jürgen Seidenberg, co-founder and CEO of BKtel, said, "The Huber+Suhner Group has an excellent reputation in the German market and offers an industrial environment that allows us to further grow. Thanks to the company’s global structures, we will be able to tap new geographical markets for our products and services. I am particularly pleased that BKtel will play an important role in the future as a competence center within H+S due to its complementary activities."

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