French lubricant company Condat SA last week finalized the acquisition of Kemno, a specialist lubricant and metalworking coolant company based in Milan. The takeover grows Condat’s market share in neighboring Italy and its fastener and machining lube capacity.
Kemno becomes a wholly owned subsidiary that will be called Condat Italia.
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Boussault Julien, Condata’s sales director, said the acquisition will help Kemno expand its business with a wider range of lubricants to offer. “On our side, this is a good opportunity to be more present in Italy,” Julien told Lube Report.
“The main objective was to acquire a good position in the cold heading market in Italy as this industrial market is quite important in this country,” a Condat spokesperson said. “The other motivation was also to diversify in Italy.” Cold heading is used to make the heads, or fasteners, on cylindrical parts such as bolts and screws, which are used in a variety of industries.
The deal could signal a growing trend of acquisitions. Last week, German independent Fuchs Petrolub SA purchased Welponer, a lubricant producer also based in northern Italy, and France’s Total announced it had bought industrial lubricant company Lubrilog the week before that.
“It is really a buyer’s market right now,” Valentina Serra-Holm, president of the Union of the European Lubricants Industry, told Lube Report. “There are a lot of small companies struggling because of [the coronavirus] crisis, and companies in a strong financial position see a great opportunity for acquisitions.”
Kemno is a small family-owned business set up in 2004 by three brothers – Luca, Davide and Matteo Novati. The company produces a range of hydraulic fluids and metalworking coolants, as well as maintenance oils and greases for cold forming, a high-speed method of producing fasteners such as rivets and screws.
Also family-owned, Condat was established 150 years before Kemno and is headquartered near Lyon, in southern France. The company makes lubricants for wire drawing, tunnel boring, forging, glass manufacturing, machining, heat treatment and industrial maintenance.