The Slovenia Times

Seven Refractories to grow further under new owner

Industry & Agriculture
A ceremony at which Seven Refractories and RHI Magnesita marked the completion of the takeover on 20 July.
Photo: Bojan Kralj/STA

Austrian multinational RHI Magnesita has completed a €93 million takeover of Seven Refractories, a Divača-based manufacturer of materials resistant to high temperatures. This should allow the Slovenian company to grow further.

Seven Refractories was founded in 2010 by seven partners, among them engineer and director Erik Zobec, a member of the Slovenian ethnic community in Italy.

It started as a small factory in the Risnik industrial zone in Divača in south-western Slovenia, making materials for high-temperature industrial processes and specialising in products for blast furnaces.

Now it has 120 employees and dozens of permanent partners while the whole group has almost 600 employees, having expanded production to India and the US.

Over the past 13 years it has constantly grown to become a major player in the global market in aluminium oxide-based cement mixtures. Last year it put out 70,000 tonnes of products to make €170 million in sales revenue.

However, the company has expanded so much it needed restructuring, which was easier with a partner, Zobec said as Seven Refractories and RHI Magnesita marked the finalisation of the takeover on 20 July.

He praised RHI Magnesita as the largest company in the refractories industry. It is listed on two stock markets and is financially sound.

"With their sales network and structure, and with our specific know-how, with our factory, which I'm sure will keep flourishing, we can give them what little they may have been missing," he said.

RHI Magnesita CEO Stefan Borgas said Seven Refractories was joining more than 14,000 employees in more than 40 factories. RHI Magnesita posted US$3.3 billion in revenue in 2022.

The two companies are complementary, with RHI's technology based on magnesium oxide and Refractories's on aluminium oxide.

Borgas said that Divača will have the leading role within RHI Magnesita in development of monolith products based on aluminium oxide.

Having led Seven Refractories from the start, Zobec is staying on as director, which he said meant a lot to him for "this story to continue".

He announced that part of the money the former owners received for the company would go to the employees. He did not say how much exactly, but it will most likely be several monthly wages.


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