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Consolidation: KILDE Automation becomes part of BILA Group

Consolidation: KILDE Automation becomes part of BILA Group

The Skive-based automation company KILDE Automation A/S will become part of BILA Group A/S. The acquisition is to ensure long-term growth and strengthen the international competitiveness of both parties. The deal is part of the plan to create an even stronger Danish player in the international market for industrial automation. The goal of this plan is to be able to match the demands of the rapidly growing Danish industrial groups.

It provides even better opportunities for us to develop as a partner to the industry and as an attractive workplace in Skive, says Peter Friis, KILDE Automation.

In the past half dozen years, the automation house BILA Group has developed into Scandinavia's leading supplier of production and logistics automation to industrial customers. The acquisition of KILDE Automation is part of this development. For more than 50 years,  Kilde Automation has been one of the country's leading machine builders and since the 1990s among the leading suppliers in automation solutions for the electronics, plastics, medical and metal industries.

"We are proud and honored to have the opportunity to drive KILDE Automation forward. Stanny Kilde started the company back in 1970, and when I was young he was in a completely different league than I could dream of in machine building," says Jan B. Sørensen, CEO of BILA Group. "I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting Stanny several times. In addition to being a really good person and a dazzling machine builder, he was also very persistent in his attitudes and was able to create a strong and well-run company and a number of completely unique machines".

After a generational and ownership change in 2005, the development in KILDE Automation has continued, so that the company today employs approximately 90 employees who support a wide range of industrial customers with automation and robot solutions. BILA takes over 100% of the share capital from the management of Kilde Automation as well as the SPAR VEST Foundation and the local investor, Bjarne Vium. KILDE Automation, which is based in Skive just 30 km from BILA's headquarters at Mors, will be continued as an independent entity under the new ownership.

We want to maintain the strength and focus that lies in KILDE Automation continuing its development with all its skilled automation experts, supported by BILA Group and our other specialists in the sister companies, points out Jan B. Sørensen.

Muscles for more development in Skive

At Kilde Automation, CEO Peter Friis is looking forward to continuing the development of the company under the new ownership: "KILDE Automation will be part of a project that uses Danish know-how to create jobs, growth and innovation. BILA Group's courage to build a strong player in a market in rapid growth and the desire to build on Kilde's extensive competencies provide wide opportunities for us to develop as a partner to the industry and as an attractive workplace in the local area," says Peter Friis, Kilde Automation.

The acquisition of Kilde Automation is a continuation of BILA Group's strategy to consolidate the automation industry and comes in the wake of the acquisition of other players in the industry, most recently PJM A/S (ex. Poul Johansen Machines). "It has now been a year since we took over PJM, which has successfully continued as an independent entity where management and employees develop the company", says Johan Blach Petersen, Chairman of the Board of BILA Group and elaborates: "The large Danish industrial groups are growing rapidly and acquiring competing groups abroad. Therefore, it is important that we, as an automation partner, develop to be able to match the requirements of these groups at home and abroad. If we do not develop, we risk that the Danish manufacturing industry will choose large foreign automation suppliers."

Deep specialist knowledge in many industries

The individual companies of the BILA Group specialize in automation aimed at different types of production and customer segments. For example, KILDE Automation today possesses a deep competence in the plastics, manufacturing industry as well as the medical device industry, KILDE will therefore serve customers in these segments as a starting point. At the same time, BILA Group develops best practice in all relevant areas such as project management, systematics in machine and solution development, software development and much more. The goal is to be able to deliver the best and most competitive solutions to customers, have sufficient capacity and to be able to offer service internationally.

BILA Group expects increased demand in the coming years, partly in the wake of a certain investment drought during the years with Covid-19 and partly due to the increased interest in the repatriation of production or nearby sourcing, where production is moved from Asia to Europe.

The fact that the transaction takes place between highly specialized companies in the same industry creates a real consolidation that equips the entire BILA Group to perform better internationally. "Stanny KILDE and Poul Johansen started with the companies KILDE Automation and PJM A/S an era in machine building, which today is famous with the foremost companies both in Denmark and the rest of the world. We want to build on this, so I am incredibly pleased that we have succeeded, and I am pleased to welcome the employees of KILDE Automation to the BILA family. The unification of our solution portfolios and technological competencies is a significant upgrade of the forces needed to expand ours, but also our customers' international success: As the more skilled BILA Group becomes, the greater efficiency out put the industry will get," says Jan B. Sørensen, CEO of BILA Group.

BILA is now 11 locations in Denmark

BILA GROUP A/S is a modern, Danish knowledge company founded in 1988 that focuses on production optimization through automation solutions, typically using industrial robots. In addition to Kilde Automation A/S, BILA Group has in recent years acquired PJM A/S, Reo-Pack, the service department at Blaaholm and Dan Palletiser, so that today the automation house is present in Nykøbing Mors and at the following other locations in Denmark: Skive, Herning, Aalborg, Randers, Sønderborg, Svendborg, Varde, Mariager, Vemmelev and Fårevejle as well as in Norway and Sweden. From here, BILA provides automation solutions to a number of industries in the European and American markets. The automation house has a total annual turnover in the billions and employs a total of almost 650 employees divided into consulting, construction, development, implementation, and subsequent servicing of robot systems. Divided into the business areas Automation, End of Line and Service, the solutions from BILA cover a wide range of high-tech, industrial robot systems, palletizing machines, self-propelled trucks, etc., which help to optimize production and internal logistics at a wide range of producing companies.

Contact for more information

Mads Bach Dolberg, Group Marketing Director

Phone +45 27 75 61 80

mabd@bila.dk

Published april 2022