Press releases

Miele and Metall Zug are planning a joint venture to strengthen their medical technology and pharmaceutical divisions

Gütersloh/Riese Pio X, November 28, 2023 No. 120/2023

  • Steelco (Miele) and Belimed (Metall Zug) are joining forces

  • Portfolio comprises hygiene solutions for hospitals, biomedical research, and pharmaceutical applications as well as biotechnological requirements

  • Highest standards of quality, innovation, and customer proximity

In order to expand its medical technology and pharmaceutical division in the Professional business unit, Miele will be contributing its subsidiary Steelco Group to a joint venture with the Swiss industrial holding company Metall Zug AG. Metall Zug will in turn be bringing its two Belimed companies – Infection Control and Life Science – to the joint venture. Steelco and Belimed both produce cleaning, disinfection and sterilization solutions for hospitals, biomedical research and pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications. By combining their product and service portfolios, the two companies are aiming to become one of the most reliable, innovative, and customer-focused providers in the industry. The agreement regarding the joint venture, in which Miele is to hold a 67 % share and Metall Zug 33 %, was signed on 27 November. Closing is to take place once the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained.

Operators of clinics and hospitals and those in charge of pharmaceutical production are facing new challenges, from increasing hygiene requirements in infection and contamination control to ensuring cost-effectiveness and dealing with the increasing shortage of staff. As a result, demand is growing around the world for technologically advanced and economically attractive equipment that meets the highest standards of hygiene. Belimed and Steelco have enjoyed an excellent reputation as providers in this field for decades – with products and services for cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of medical equipment, laboratory supplies and solutions for the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnological applications. Furthermore, both companies share a commitment to the highest quality standards and maximum customer focus.

“The Professional business unit is already very important to Miele,” says Dr Axel Kniehl, who is Executive Director Marketing & Sales for the Miele Group and is responsible for this business unit. “With this joint venture, we will be strengthening our strategic position as a global premium provider in the field of medical and pharmaceutical technology and will be creating additional opportunities for growth, particularly in North America and Asia.”

Belimed and Steelco – premium partners on an equal footing

Steelco has been part of Miele since 2017. The subsidiary looks after the global clinic project business, among other things, and is therefore responsible for all aspects of planning and equipment for sterilization departments in hospitals. The company, which was founded in 2001, has two production locations in Italy – at the headquarters in Riese Pio X and in Cusano. Furthermore, the company has branches in 14 countries and a strong network of distributors in its core markets. In 2022, Miele generated turnover of approx. EUR 194 million through Steelco business, with the company employing around 800 people. In addition to many years of expertise in infection control and pharmaceuticals, Steelco brings a broad product portfolio and a high level of innovative strength to the project. “We are looking forward to working with Belimed – together we want to provide our customers with the most innovative and reliable solutions in the industry,” says Fabio Zardini, CEO of Steelco.

Belimed, which is headquartered in Zug in Switzerland and has production locations in Sulgen (Switzerland) and Grosuplje (Slovenia), employs around 1300 people in the areas of infection control and pharmaceuticals. With its two companies Belimed Infection Control and Belimed Life Science, the Group is represented in more than 80 countries – with its own sales and service hubs in some cases – and particularly in growth markets such as the USA and China. Its most recent turnover figures amounted to approx. CHF 229 million. At the same time, customers appreciate Steelco’s high level of quality and expertise in relation to digital solutions. “Steelco and Miele are strong and reliable partners. With their growth momentum and years of expertise, they are the perfect fit for us and our joint plans for the future,” says Martin Wipfli, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Metall Zug AG.

“With the joint venture, we want to combine the best of both worlds. A broad, innovative, and interconnected product portfolio combined with a dense global sales and service network will allow us to achieve maximum customer proximity,” explains Dr Christian Kluge, Senior Vice President Business Unit Professional, whose recent turnover figures of more than EUR 750 million included a significant contribution from Steelco business.

Tailored solutions for products and services

The joint venture will generate synergy potential regarding development, production, marketing and service, enabling an even stronger customer focus and increased competitiveness. “The plan for the future is to establish a joint brand presence that takes account of the roots of both companies. Both new and existing customers will benefit from even better product performance and an even higher quality of service,” says Kluge.

At an operational level, the joint venture will be managed by a mixed management team comprising representatives from Miele, Steelco and Belimed and led by Kluge. Kluge will also serve as chair of the planned five-person board of directors, alongside two representatives from Miele and two from Metall Zug.

Company profile: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. Their product portfolio also includes dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications. Founded in 1899, the company has eight production plants in Germany, one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland as well as two production plants belonging to its Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Sales in the 2022 business year amounted to around € 5.43 bn. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries/regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 23,300, of which approx. 11,900 employees work in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.

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The designated board of directors for the new joint venture: Dr. Axel Kniehl (Miele), Dr. Stefan Breit (Miele), Dr. Christian Kluge (Miele), Martin Wipfli (Metall Zug AG), Matthias Rey (Metall Zug AG) (f.l.t.r.). (Photo: Miele)

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