KION Group, Summerville, S.C., completed its acquisition of Dematic, Grand Rapids, Mich., making KION Group a leading provider of supply chain solutions, including forklift trucks and fully automated material handling solutions.

"Today marks the dawn of a new era for the KION Group, Dematic and our customers," says Gordon Riske, chief executive officer of the KION Group. "The transaction brings together the world's most profitable manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse technology with one of the largest and fastest-growing warehouse automation and software solutions providers. Our combined global presence, intelligent and tailored material handling as well as comprehensive automation and software technology solutions, plus now more than 30,000 dedicated and highly skilled employees will enable us to deliver even more value for our customers."

The new Dematic operating unit will be led by John Baysore, previously CEO of Dematic North America, who will become president and CEO. Jeff Moss will take on the newly created role of executive vice president international, heading up Dematic's international business outside North America. The new management team will also include Frank Herzog, previously the KION Group's head of corporate finance, as executive vice president of finance and CFO. Business in North America will be the responsibility of Scott Watts, who was appointed executive vice president North America. Ulf Henriksson, chief executive officer of Dematic, will resign.

"At Dematic, we are proud to move forward as part of the KION Group, which even better positions us to assist our customers with supply chain performance. The newly established solution portfolio affords our customers the ability to accommodate their ever-changing business requirements and will dynamically optimize their warehouse and distribution functions," says Baysore. "The market for system solutions is expected to grow by around 10% per year in the medium term. We have the innovative technology, software expertise and global network to meet the supply chain requirements of the future, such as those resulting from the rapidly growing e-commerce sector and the many other vertical markets we serve."  

Beginning in December, the KION Group will start managing its business and reporting financials by three segments. The industrial trucks and services segment represents KION's business up to now and consists of four operating units—Linde Material Handling EMEA and STILL EMEA, which each concentrate on Europe, the Middle East and Africa, plus KION APAC and KION Americas, which hold cross-brand responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas, respectively. The supply chain solutions segment comprises Dematic, Egemin Automation and Retrotech, while corporate services includes headquarter functions and group-wide services such as internal logistics and IT.

The two companies complement one another with strong market positions and regional presence thus opening up further opportunities. Dematic will make use of the reputation and leading market positions of KION's forklift brands in key markets such as Europe, China and Brazil, while the KION Group benefits from Dematic's strong position in the United States and European automation markets.