For more than 100 years, Sauter Group, based in Basel, Switzerland with a production site in Freiburg, Germany, has provided products, solutions and services for building management and room automation. With around 350 employees at the Basel site and 2,700 people worldwide, Sauter reported 2020 turnover of approx. €500 million, making them one of the second-tier building automation providers in Europe. The group has 26 subsidiaries in Europe and a worldwide network of joint ventures and local offices.
Sauter Germany accounts for over 50% of revenues, generating annual sales of €280 million, and has a total of 38 offices throughout the country. Sauter-Cumulus GmbH develops and manufactures products that are used in room and building management, including automation systems, sensors, and actuators for HVAC applications. Sauter FM GmbH, a sister company of Sauter-Cumulus GmbH, specializes in facility management services.
Over the last four years, Sauter’s growth strategy has been to expand its Europe-wide market presence in the Facility Services business segment. The mechanical and electrical services sector is considered to be the fastest-growing part of the business. Four acquisitions in the UK, Ireland, and Italy have been completed to date.
In January 2022, Sauter reported its latest acquisition to augment its UK market presence with the purchase of a majority stake in the Scottish mechanical and electrical contractor, Emtec Group Ltd. Founded in 2003, the largest companies in the group, based near Glasgow, Scotland are Emtec Building Services and Emtec Facility Services. The group reports annual revenues in excess of £60 million via its eight offices in Scotland and northern England and with more than 550 employees. Besides the provision of core M&E services, Emtec has diversified into various specialist fields such as renewable energy solutions, security systems and fire protection.
“The acquisition of Emtec Group Ltd. represents a perfect complement to our existing Europe-wide presence and enables us to meet the current and future requirements of the global market and our customers even better", explains Werner Ottilinger, Managing Director of Sauter FM GmbH.
Techne SpA, acquired in September 2020, is a Bergamo-based Italian provider of mechanical & electrical and facility management services. Established in 2003, the company specializes in complete solutions for the operation, maintenance and renovation of building installations. The most important customers include the Italian energy companies Eni and Enel as well as the universities of Bergamo and Milan. With around 200 employees and ten operational locations in Italy and a branch in the Congo, the company generated 2020 revenues of approx. €40 million. Techne slots into the expansion plans for Sauter Facility Services while supporting Sauter group’s wider portfolio.
In August 2018, Sauter acquired a majority stake in the Irish company Sirus, a Dublin-based provider of commercial building automation and technical building management. The company is specialized in supplying the pharmaceutical, life sciences, biotech and data center industries with HVAC, building management and energy efficiency solutions. Sirus employs more than 100 people and generated sales of €20 million in 2017.
Also in 2018, Sauter acquired a 75% stake of Wren Environmental. With this acquisition, the group entered the UK market for technical facility management services. Wren, founded in 1991 and based in Leatherhead, Surrey, has developed a range of building management and maintenance services. Alongside mainstream planned and reactive maintenance support for mechanical, electrical and air-conditioning systems, the company also offers support for alarm systems, hot water, lighting and sanitation systems. With a portfolio of national and international companies, Wren recorded an annual turnover in excess of £5.5 million (approx. €6 million) in its first year as part of the Sauter Group.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.