The Slovenia Times

Hidria in full ownership of Spanish Gonvarri

Hidria's automatised production of a diesel engine cold-start system in Tolmin. Photo: Rosana Rijavec/STA

The Spanish automotive multinational Gonvarri has acquired nearly 100% of Hidra, the Slovenian car components developer and producer, almost two years after becoming a strategic partner.

Gonvarri went from 42% ownership to 94.51%, meaning 100% voting rights, after all of the major shareholders decided to sell.

Announcing the takeover on 5 June, Hidria said Gonvarri had bought shares of H&R, Hidria's 89% owner, from several physical persons. The remaining shares are in Hidria's own possession.

Gonvarri became co-owner amidst a dispute between the largest owners, managers in the company, in 2022, when the Svetlik family sold its 42% stake in H&R.

Now, the remaining major owners also sold their shares, with the newspaper Delo estimating they will have received tens of millions of euros in proceeds. The value of the transactions has not been disclosed.

The paper estimates that Hidria's value has increased by about 15% since 2022, when Svetlik received €201.51 per share for a total amount of €74 million.

This would net the Rejc family some €48 million for their share, Iztok Seljak would get some €26 million and Dušan Lapajne around €21 million, according to Delo.

The sellers have held the majority of the shares for over 20 years, which means they do not have to pay any tax.

Based in Idrija in western Slovenia, Hidria has a number of production facilities in the country and abroad, including in Hungary, China and Germany. Employing 2,000 people, it generated over €400 million in revenue last year, after undergoing an extensive restructuring in the recent past.

The takeover will bring the strategic competitive advantages such as access to global clients, key strategic materials and components, as well as financial power for a global expansion, and economy of scale and AI-supported automation, robotisation and digitalisation, the company said.

Gonvarri sees Hidria as a core part of its portfolio, focusing among other things on electric mobility. According to the press release, Gonvarri is dedicated to further developing Hidria in Slovenia and abroad, and the company is to remain based in Slovenia.

No changes are planned for the management. Bojan Gantar is to remain at the helm of the three-member management board at Hidria, while Simon Velikonja and Emilio Ros Torres are staying on as board members.

Former owners Seljak and Lapajne remain management board members of H&R, while Andra Krapš Rejc will give up her post as the head of the H&R management board.


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