Posted on
08 | 04 | 2008

HERMES SoftLab shareholders accept offer from ComTrade Group

UniCredit provides expansion capital

Ljubljana, April 8th 2008. HERMES SoftLab shareholders have accepted ComTrade Group’s acquisition offer submitted on March 18th 2008. The merged entity will be the largest IT company in South East Europe with capabilities to provide an entire range of IT solutions and services, as well as distribution of IT products, both locally and across the region. The combined entity of ComTrade Group and Hermes will not only solidify its positions in its existing markets, but will better positioned for further expansion in South East Europe, as well as in the other markets in the European Union, the USA and the Middle East . The new entity will have 1,600 employees with a total revenue of 300 million Euros operating in 14 countries world wide. UniCredit Group is providing both debt and equity financing for ComTrade Group and will, via its Principal Investments unit, become a 21% minority shareholder of the combined entity.

»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 centers 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. To that end the company intends to continue its internationalization process and potentially offer its shares to public markets in the coming years.« said Veselin Jevrosimović, President of ComTrade Group, commenting development strategy. »The Group’s strategy will be based on development of both companies and on expansion into the new markets« added Jevrosimović.

”We will expand our presence in the Adriatic region and accelerate both sales and building of the regional network of sofware engineering centers. We expect significant strengthening of our presence in the USA and Middle-Eastern markets where, so far, we had a smaller percentage of our business,« explained the CEO of HERMES SoftLab Gregor Smrekar, whilst commenting on the reasons for the strategic partnership . »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. We believe that this strategic partnership is the optimum solution for all stakeholders involved as they will benefit from growth potential of the combined group. For the employees this means continuity and that the company will remain one of the most stimulating places to work in the region, for current shareholders it means a good value exit, and for our clients it means that they can expect a wider range of improved services« added Smrekar.

Claus Mansfeldt, Managing Director in UniCredit Group’s Principal Investments unit, expressed his support for the transaction: “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”