The SIAD Group’s internationalisation process continues with the news that it has completed the acquisition of 100% of Istrabenz Plini, a Slovenian leader in the production and distribution of industrial and technical gases.

The Koper-based company, in which SIAD had held a minority stake since 1990, is also a national leader in the distribution of LPG and the supply of natural gas through pipeline.

Its extended footprint in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina – through direct operations or subsidiaries – as well as its domestic Slovenian market is described by SIAD as a factor in stepping up its involvement in the company.

Bernardo Sestini, Managing Director of the SIAD Group, explained, “The Istrabenz Plini acquisition is part of the internationalisation process started some time ago and follows the acquisition of another company, now SIAD Poland, which also operates in the technical gas sector.”

“The strategic reasons behind the acquisition of Istrabenz Plini are essentially linked to the opportunities of development and growth in the markets addressed by the Koper company, with which we have been collaborating for over 25 years.”

Istrabenz Plini has a turnover of €80m and 220 employees. According to gasworld Business Intelligence, the company represents around 21% of the steadily growing Slovenian gases business market.

The commercial industrial gas market in Slovenia is estimated to have generated revenues of $91m in 2015, up from around $66m in 2005 – indicating an average annual growth rate of 3.2% for the decade.

Growth is built on an economy boasting excellent infrastructure, a well-educated workforce, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe. All of which has seen Slovenia demonstrate one of the highest per capita GDPs in Central Europe, make a solid return to growth in 2014 after a number of years of recession, and be the subject of a steady (2.5%-3.3% p.a.) growth projection from gasworld Business Intelligence through to 2020.