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French laser giant establishes a new facility in Gothenburg

29 September 2022
Lumibird, the European leader for laser technologies, has acquired Saab’s defence laser rangefinder business and inaugurated a new premise at Kallebäck, in the heart of Gothenburg’s aerospace and defence cluster.

The French company is one of the world’s leading specialists in lasers. It has more than 1,000 employees in Europe, America and Asia, and it operates in multiple markets: medicine, optical sensors and defence. In 2021 it had a turnover of EUR 162 million and it aims to achieve EUR 250 milllion in 2023 by organic and external growth.  

“That a large international firm like Lumibird chooses to establish itself in Gothenburg is pleasing and illustrates the region’s attractiveness and strong expertise within advanced technology,” says Kent Jellmund, investment advisor for ICT at Business Region Göteborg, who was part of the team who assisted Lumibird’s investment.

The firm has taken over Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab’s laser rangefinder business, which includes around 40 people in total and had revenues of EUR 10 million in 2021. The company expects to grow in Gothenburg, by around 10 per cent per year. It is currently looking to hire engineers and production staff.     

“The acquisition strengthens our expertise, within telemetry. Saab was already a customer of Lumibird and purchased our laser diodes. The new activities will mean we can strengthen our presence within very long-range and onboard telemetry, particularly onboard military aircraft. The acquisition also opens up the German and northern European markets, where we don’t have much of a presence,” says Marc Le Flohic, chairman and CEO at Lumibird Group.

A hotspot for space and defence research and development

Lumibird has moved into a premise at Kallebäck, which has long been a hub for Gothenburg’s aerospace and defence companies. The facility, which includes a new state-of-the-art laser room, was/will be officially inaugurated on 29 September, with a ceremony involving Mark LeFlohic and the Mayor of Gothenburg, Axel Josefsson. The laser business will also celebrate its 60-year anniversary. 

“My team and I are very happy to be a part of the Lumibird group,” says Carina Harnesk, CEO at Lumibird Photonics Sweden AB. “Now we belong to a company where the core business is laser and we will have the possibility to share technical innovations and cooperate together with other companies within the Lumibird group.”

Lumibird's nearest neighbour is Saab’s site in Gothenburg, which has more than 1,500 employees, mostly within the business area surveillance, which among other things is responsible for the surveillance system GlobalEye.

“Gothenburg and western Sweden have a long history within aerospace and defence. Our cluster features large global companies like Saab, Beyond Gravity [formerly RUAG Space] and GKN Aerospace, as well as innovative start-ups and smaller companies like Omnisys Instruments och Cobham Gaisler. Another key player in our ecosystem is Chalmers. The university carries out advanced research in the area, it collaborates closely with industry and provides the region with a strong pipeline of talent,” says Kent Jellmund.

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Kent Jellmund
Investment advisor for ICT at Business Region Göteborg
kent.jellmund@businessregion.se // +46 31-367 61 55

 

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