Dematic acquires SDI Group Europe

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Dematic Group, supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services to optimise the supply chain, has announced the acquisition of FSU Investments Limited.

FSU holds a majority stake in SDI Group Limited (SDI Group Europe), a supplier of garment on hanger and flat sorter technology in Europe, and Dematic Group also announced today its intention to make an offer for the remaining share capital in SDI Group Europe held by other shareholders.

The purchase of SDI Group Europe will expand Dematic's global order fulfilment offerings in apparel, retail and e-commerce markets.

"The combination of Dematic and SDI Group Europe enhances our focus on providing customers with critical industry solutions powered by a talented team of solution designers, project delivery and customer service specialists dedicated to the ecommerce and apparel markets," stated Ulf Henriksson, Dematic President and CEO. Henriksson continued, "The addition of garment on hanger and flat sorter technologies, combined with a best in class returns processing solution, offers our customers a true single source modular, flexible and scalable solution provider and partner."

Dematic believes that the acquisition of SDI Group Europe's offerings will expand and further enhance Dematic solutions developed to enhance customers' responsiveness to the evolving requirements of omni-channel distribution.

Headquartered in Royston, UK, SDI Group Europe provides key components for seamless order fulfilment including pouch sorters, pusher sorters, Bombay sorters, garment-on-hanger technology, tilt tray/carton sorters and related services. Its proprietary MonaLisa sorter bag technology enables both hanging and flat goods to be carried on the same system, designed to improve the efficiency of returns management for goods such as shoes, toys, books, CDs and mobile phones.

In 1996, SDI Group Europe (previously Greenstone Automation) was founded in the UK by CEO Gordon Smith. 2006 saw the consolidation of SDI Group USA and SDI Group Europe before floating of the consolidated group on the AIM in 2007. Following a Management Buyout, the SDI Group was delisted in 2010, and SDI Group Europe and SDI Group USA legally split again. Dematic is acquiring SDI Group Europe but the combined offering will be available to customers globally including the US.

Following the acquisition of SDI Group Europe, Andrea di Bella, currently the Managing Director for SDI Italy, Spain and Switzerland, will succeed Gordon Smith in the role of CEO, SDI Group Europe and take over responsibility for the business, working closely with the existing senior management team in UK,

France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, Turkey and Poland. Gordon will remain in the business and act in a supporting role to Andrea during an initial transition phase.

"Andrea has a wealth of experience, having been with SDI Group for 17 years, and has been integral in the management and partnership of many customer projects over the years," stated Henriksson .

"Dematic is at the forefront when it comes to automated technologies and software for the apparel, retail and ecommerce markets. We look forward to integrating our business into Dematic's already strong global position and product and service offerings," said di Bella.

All SDI Group Europe products and services, will be available through Dematic globally to current customers and prospects seeking to optimize their order fulfilment and distribution processes and solutions. In addition, the acquisition offers customers the combined strength of two customer service organization infrastructures positioned to deliver responsive and dependable automated technology and software support around the globe.

"As well as our extensive number of European customer sites, Dematic has over 2,000 customer sites in North America, and is committed to its customers as they strive for enhanced operational performance" stated Henriksson, "The newly combined SDI Group Europe and Dematic offerings will be available to the market for all our new and existing North American customers along with our global customers under the Dematic brand."

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