The KION Group’s new plant in Stříbro near Plzeň in the Czech Republic has been designed as a smart factory with digitally connected systems. Production got under way in January 2016. The Stříbro plant is initially building reach trucks for the Linde brand. Employing around 150 people to begin with, the factory has the capacity to manufacture 12,000 trucks per year.
The restructuring of the KION Group’s funding was completed on 15 February 2016. This included repayment ahead of schedule of the last corporate bond and the arrangement of a new credit facility that offers far more favourable terms with investment-grade characteristics.
Back at the start of March, the KION Group had further strengthened its automated warehouse systems expertise in North America by acquiring Retrotech Inc., an established US systems integrator of warehouse and distribution solutions.
In June, KION GROUP AG signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire all of the shares in the Dematic parent company, DH Services Luxembourg Holding S.à r.l., Luxembourg. The Dematic Group is a leading global supplier of advanced integrated automation technology and the associated software and services for optimising supply chains. The KION Group will thus enhance its position as a one-stop supplier of intelligent supply chain solutions for Industry 4.0. With more than 100 locations, Dematic is present in 22 countries. Closing of the transaction is subject to the customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is likely to take place during the fourth quarter of 2016. The provisional purchase price for the shares is the equivalent of around €1.9 billion. The transaction will initially be funded by a €3.0 billion bridge loan that has been firmly committed.