Business acquisition: Protacon challenges traditional engineering companies

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Technology company Protacon has purchased Descal, a global operator in industrial investment projects. With the transaction formalised in January, the company climbs to the top of service providers for the pulp, paper and energy industries.

With the merger of Protacon and Descal, Finland gets a much-needed global player whose services cover the entire life cycle of industrial investment projects.

“We will represent a novel player in the industrial integration market combining industrial expert services and system deliveries to create a more coherent ensemble. In the future, the customer can get everything from a single source: one independent supplier will provide engineering design, automation systems, electric drives, condition monitoring and production quality assurance, as well as Industry 4.0 solutions and tools for management by knowledge. The industrial revolution creates new demand to which this combination efficiently responds providing at the same time new opportunities for the best players of the industry”, says Protacon’s CEO Timo Akselin.

Protacon operates in ten locations in Finland. Descal has offices in Kouvola and Mikkeli and the company employs around 50 people. With the transaction, Protacon’s number of employees will exceed 300 and the corporate turnover is expected to increase to over EUR 30 millions in 2018. At the initial stage, Descal Engineering Oy continues to use its former name and current management group operating as Protacon’s 100% owned affiliate.

“The merger of Descal and Protacon creates a possibility to expand to a market that has been until now impossible to the two companies on their own. The merger enables us to better develop our operations in areas in which we are already strong, such as our engineering and calculation knowhow for seismic regions. Protacon brings strong competence in electrical, instrumentation and automation fields; therefore, we will be able to offer our customers more extensive service packages in the future. Activities in international markets will also be easier, as we can cater to our customers’ needs from one source”, explains managing director Kimmo Kerttula from Descal Engineering.

  

Wider range of services compared to a conventional engineering company or systems supplier

 Until now, Protacon has mainly provided its industrial customers with electrification, instrumentation and automation design including automation, electric drive and information systems. Plant and mechanical engineering has been in a smaller role.

With the transaction, Protacon’s services in plant engineering will strengthen in a remarkable way. Process engineering will become a strong new area and calculation services will be complemented by world-class knowhow. The merger also brings synergy to production analysis services, in which both companies are already active.

“Descal was selected as the most suitable among several operators to complement Protacon’s range of services. Descal is an exceptionally well-run undertaking and renowned for its high-quality engineering services provided as turnkey deliveries. Its special strength areas include strength of materials and other calculation services providing a good support to process industry engineering. The company’s headquarters are optimally located in Kouvola. We seek strong growth in Descal’s current business areas and aim to establish an electrical and automation team in Kouvola in the near future”, Mr. Akselin says.

The transaction is Protacon’s second business acquisition this year. A week ago, the company announced a merger between Protacon and Netwell Oy, which aims to reinforce their business of digitalisation of communication and management.

 


Protacon
, a Finnish company established in 1990, is an industrial systems integrator, a technology partner in product development and a specialist in digital service business. Protacon employs more than 270 persons and the corporate turnover exceeded EUR 22 million in 2017. Protacon’s customers include Andritz, Bellmer, Cargotec, Chenming, Fortum, Evondos, Kone Elevators, Nokian Tyres, Metso, Raute, SCG Packaging, Stora Enso, Sjöfartsverket, UPM, Valtra, ValueFrame and Wärtsilä.

Descal Engineering Oy is a Finnish excellence-oriented engineering company established in 2006 with its main activities including industrial process and plant engineering, strength calculation services and steel and concrete structure design for industrial applications all over the world. The company employs approximately 50 highly qualified experts working in the Kouvola and Mikkeli offices and its turnover was approximately EUR 4.5 millions in 2017. The customers include Andritz, Adpap, BASF, Efora, Empower, Fortum, Inspecta, Kemira, Neste, Outotec, Stora Enso, Sumitomo, Suomen Sokeri and TVO.