The Applus+ LGAI division consolidates its position in the european aeronautical industry with the purchase of BKW, one of the main players in the Bremen aeronautical cluster
BARCELONA, 27 OCTOBER 2011. – Applus+, a global inspection, testing, certification and quality assurance company, pursues its growth towards becoming a principal player in Europe’s aeronautical industry. The group has closed the acquisition of Germany’s BKW, a provider of testing and material characterization services, in a move that makes it a first-tier supplier for Airbus, the largest operator in the European aeronautical industry.
With this acquisition, the Spanish multinational strengthens its leadership position in testing and inspection, and grows in a sector that is strategic for its development. Applus+ LGAI, the Spanish company’s testing and certification division, is not only increasing its service portfolio for the aeronautical industry, but also locating geographically closer to Airbus and establishing itself in one of the major industrial regions of Europe.
In the words of Applus+ CEO Fernando Basabe, the BKW acquisition «is a giant step toward building a European leader in a high added value sector like aeronautics, to which Applus+ LGAI brings extraordinary experience in two key areas: structural mechanical testing and composite materials. BKW's contribution is also essential for our development in the sector, since it is the company with the most accreditations classified by Airbus as the most difficult».
Founded in 1983, BKW has 2,400m2 for laboratories and offices, a workforce of 26 personnel, 18 of whom are engineers and experienced technicians with specialized certification. Beyond the aeronautical sector, the company serves over 300 clients in sectors of critical importance for the development of Applus+ LGAI, such as energy, naval and transport.
BKW provides services in areas such as non destructive testing (NDT), mechanical testing for metallic and composite materials, and metallurgical analysis. The company currently leads the Center for Testing and Qualifications (CTQ), comprised of leading testing and qualification providers in the Bremen – Hamburg area.
Experience in the sector
Applus+ LGAI began working in the aeronautical and aerospace sector in the 1990s – one of Applus+'s main strategic commitments – with the first material tests for the European Space Agency. The company’s clients include the leading Spanish and international operators in the aeronautical sector, such as Aernnova, EADS, ITP, Rolls Royce, Safran Group and, of course, Airbus.
Today, Applus+ provides engineering solutions, mechanical and equipment testing, production quality control and pre-series and test coupon production services for the aeronautical sector in countries such as Spain, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium, and is exploring opportunities in this sector in emerging markets such as China, India and Morocco. Since 2007, Applus+ has been homologated by Airbus as a top level testing supplier for structural and materials testing, services that are required for projects such as the A350 XWB or life extension projects for the metallic structure of the A320, A330 and A340.
In 2010, the company obtained the NadCap certification (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) for composite and metallic materials, a prestigious acknowledgement that certifies the company’s technical competence as a testing laboratory for mechanical and climate material tests. Composite materials are becoming increasingly important in aircraft development due to the increased energy efficiency and the fuel savings they offer. Applus+ is one of only twelve companies in the world (9 in Europe) holding this technical recognition.
Applus+, a global company in the field of inspection, testing and quality assurance
Applus+ is one of the ten largest companies in the conformity assessment sector worldwide and the top Spanish multinational in the field. It is a global leader in the areas of vehicle inspection and non-destructive testing and is among the top companies in Europe in the inspection, technical assistance and testing sectors.
With a 14,000-strong workforce and a 2010 turnover of €900 million, the company's CEO is Fernando Basabe, with Joaquim Coello as its Chairman. Applus+, part of The Carlyle Group portfolio of companies since 2007, has operations in 66 countries on all five continents and provides services to 14 industrial sectors, including energy and oil, automotive and aeronautics.