Smart Buildings

New Majority Shareholder for No. 2 Player in German Building Automation Market

This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori. Kieback & Peter, one of the leading specialists in building automation announced an ownership change in January 2020, with the CEO taking over the majority stake from the Laeger family. Founded in Berlin in 1927, Kieback & Peter is a provider of building automation products, solutions and services with over 1,400 employees. The portfolio ranges from the planning and implementation of simple room automation to solutions for smart buildings with integrated energy and building management. The parent company has more than 40 branches or subsidiaries in Germany and abroad. The group manufactures products including sensors, actuators and controllers at two locations in Germany. In Jan 2020, Christoph Ritzkat, Chairman of the Board became the new majority shareholder. He was previously CFO at Diehl Aerospace, until he joined Kieback & Peter in Jan 2017 as Managing Director with a focus on repositioning the company […]

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This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.

Kieback & Peter, one of the leading specialists in building automation announced an ownership change in January 2020, with the CEO taking over the majority stake from the Laeger family. Founded in Berlin in 1927, Kieback & Peter is a provider of building automation products, solutions and services with over 1,400 employees. The portfolio ranges from the planning and implementation of simple room automation to solutions for smart buildings with integrated energy and building management. The parent company has more than 40 branches or subsidiaries in Germany and abroad. The group manufactures products including sensors, actuators and controllers at two locations in Germany.

In Jan 2020, Christoph Ritzkat, Chairman of the Board became the new majority shareholder. He was previously CFO at Diehl Aerospace, until he joined Kieback & Peter in Jan 2017 as Managing Director with a focus on repositioning the company and putting it back on a growth path.

According to the 2018 Company Report filed with authorities on 25 March 2020, Laeger GmbH, the parent company reported 2018 revenues of EUR 214.4 million versus EUR 184.1 million in 2017, an increase of 16.5%.

In the Group's most important regional market, Germany, sales were EUR 161.3M, 75% of total 2018 revenues. China was their second largest market, accounting for EUR 29.3M revenues due to some long-term large-scale projects.

Their market share in Germany was reported as 15.1% in fiscal year 2018 (previous year 14.4%), ranking Kieback & Peter as the number 2 player in building automation.

Key elements of the restructuring in the German part of the group since 2017 were the establishment of a new management team, the introduction of an ERP system and significant improvements in the group’s external image and branding.

The operating result (EBIT before extraordinary effects and other financial results) for the group deteriorated from EUR 6.2 million to EUR 2.2 million and was EUR 4.8 million below the forecast. The deterioration in earnings resulted in particular from the simultaneous handling of large projects at the Berlin location, which led to capacity bottlenecks and additional costs. In addition, earnings were negatively impacted in particular by the lack of growth in Italy and the Netherlands.

In May 2018, the group entered the residential sector through the acquisition of the Berlin smart home firm, Riedel. Since the founding of Dr. Riedel Automatisierungstechnik GmbH in 1991, the firm has been developing digital control systems for multi-storey residential buildings. The core of their portfolio is the scalable RIEcon management system which networks energy flows from the smallest unit – the living space – through the entire building to the largest unit – the neighbourhood.

Using artificial intelligence (AI), the apartment, building and neighbourhood managers regulate the resource-efficient use of energy. With around 30 employees, Riedel has completed more than 30,000 projects in apartments, schools, public buildings and connected neighbourhoods.

Kieback & Peter's top clients include Airbus, Daimler, Volkswagen and the Berlin Reichstag. Its most recent project was as system integrator for the Cube Berlin, said to be “the most intelligent office building in Europe”.

Equipped with Kieback & Peter technology, Cube Berlin, – developed by CA Immo as a fully digitalized office building – was officially opened on February 18th 2020, Kieback & Peter were responsible for the building automation, integrating the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and automation systems in the entire building as well as the individual systems in the tenant fit-out.

The central building services system is directly networked with the individual room and device controls and also has interfaces to the Internet of Things (IoT). To achieve this, numerous protocols had to be integrated and the data transferred to the central control unit via BACnet. Hardware and software from Kieback & Peter complement each other to form an intelligent building management system which, in conjunction with the central software – jointly developed by CA Immo and Bad Homburg-based start-up, Thing Technologies – adapts to the needs of cube berlin users with 3,800 sensors distributed throughout the building.

Kieback & Peter has maintained its position as a long-standing player in the German building automation sector, challenging the market leader, Siemens for many years.

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