August 22, 2019

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HOME REGIONS Europe › Comtrade and Hermes Softlab form regional giant

Comtrade and Hermes Softlab form regional giant

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 1 May 2008

Comtrade Group, one of the largest IT companies in South East Europe, has purchased Slovenian software and IT services powerhouse Hermes Softlab. Unicredit Group provided both debt and equity financing for Comtrade and will become a 21% minority shareholder in the combined entity. The combined group boasts 1,600 employees, annual sales of approximately US$465m and operations in 14 countries.

Hermes Softlab develops software and IT solutions for the telecoms, finance and public sector verticals. The two companies claim that the merged Comtrade-Hermes entity will be the largest IT company in South East Europe spanning IT solutions and services and distribution – both on a local and regional basis.

The two companies believe that their union will also better position the combined entity for further expansion into the European Union, the USA and the Middle East.

Veselin Jevrosimović, president at Comtrade Group, said: “Comtrade Group is exceptionally satisfied in concluding this transaction and welcomes a high-end IT company such as Hermes Softlab as one of its members. This strategic partnership will accelerate the development of ICT centres in the Adriatic region and improve sales growth prospects in other international markets.”

“Comtrade Group’s strategy is focused on the development of a wider range of products and services and improving its offerings in the markets with the greatest potential, especially USA and Middle East markets,” he added. “To that end the company intends to continue its internationalisation process and potentially offer its shares to public markets in the coming years.”

Claus Mansfeldt, managing director at Unicredit’s principal investments unit, commented: “Unicredit is very proud to be associated with the creation of a regional champion in the IT sector, which the combination of Comtrade Group and hermes Softlab represents. We were attracted by the already proven, world-class, high quality products and services embedded in both companies and wish to support their united and successful growth in the international marketplace.”

“Hermes Softlab will strengthen Comtrade Group’s position in the fast developing IT solutions segment through its high-end technological competencies that are highly sought after by Hermes multinational corporate clients,” said Gregor Smrekar, CEO at Hermes Softlab.

Local press reports on Seebiz claimed that the purchase price paid for Hermes was US$62m. The report also claimed that Comtrade’s approach was one of four offers including bids from the US, Israel and Poland. Seebiz also reports that Jevrosimović confirmed Comtrade was currently in negotiations for two potential acquisitions in Poland.

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