NEWS from Switzerland Trade & Investment Promotion

19/02/2014


Switzerland Trade & Investment Promotion

Top of the News

Martin Dahinden, head of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), has been appointed ambassador to the United States in a widely expected move. Starting summer 2014, he will take over the post from Manuel Sager, who has been appointed Head of the SDC Cooperation with its Eastern Europe division in Bern.

Switzerland comes out as the best at developing, attracting and retaining top talent according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index by the European business school Insead. The new index rates 103 countries on 48 factors including education, government policy and quality of life. The U.S. trailed in ninth place. First-placed Switzerland excelled in all categories, and stood out for its long-standing commitment to high-quality education, according to the report.

Wins and Updates

PharmApprove, a division of New Jersey-based Taft and Partners, plans to open a new office in Zurich by the second quarter of 2014. PharmApprove specializes in strategic regulatory and scientific communications, administrative advisory committee preparation and legal hearings.

KEMP Technologies, a load balancing specialist, has entered into a joint venture with its distribution partner Smart Outcome and opened a new office in Effretikon, canton Zurich. It will initially be staffed with three sales representatives with plans to create further jobs by 2015. A repair facility is also to be established at the site.

Washington DC-based TD International, a boutique risk consultancy, has opened a new office in Zurich. The company provides a range of consulting services ranging from strategic intelligence to crisis management.

Minnesota-based transportation and logistics company CH Robinson Worldwide Inc. has opened a new office in Basel. The office employs multi-lingual account managers who will focus on sales, account management and account operations.

Citi International Personal Bank (IPB) EMEA, part of New York-based Citigroup, has launched its Switzerland booking center in Geneva, giving Citigold private clients based in the UAE access to a new investment center.

Exton, Pa., based Nuron Biotech, a developer and marketer of vaccines and specialty biologics set up its European headquarters in Schaffhausen.

Google, the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant has acquired Bitspin the Zurich-based maker of the Timely clock app. The app, which is available on Google's Play store, provides an array of stylish chronological functions-including an alarm clock, stopwatch and timer-for mobile devices running the Android operating system.

Nestle will open two new factories in Ocotlan and Silao, Mexico. The construction of the plants will see an investment of $1 billion over the next five years and create 700 direct jobs.

San Diego-based laboratory software provider Accelrys Inc. has acquired Liestals-based systems integrator Vialis AG to benefit from its expertise in delivering paperless laboratory solutions. Vialis has been renamed Accelrys Management Consulting.

BlackRock Inc. completes its acquisition of Credit Suisse's EFT business which related to $17.6 billion in assets at the time the deal was first formally agreed in January 2013. Besides this, the US Blackstone Group closes an acquisition of Strategic Partners from Credit Suisse. Strategic Partners is a secondary private fund, with $10 billion in assets under management.

Bottomline Technologie Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based payment, invoice and banking solutions, announced the acquisition of Swiss-based Sterci SA. Together with the purchase of London-based Simplex GTP Ltd., the companies will create a new global center of excellence in financial messaging.

Colfax Corporation, based in Fulton, Md., has purchased Geneva's Fläkt Woods Group AGs' global infrastructure and industry business. The business, which is worth $225m and supplies industrial fans and related products, has operations around the world.

Wisconsin-based Manitowoc Company Inc has acquired Inducs AG, a supplier of induction technology to the global food service industry. Inducs is based in Herisau, canton Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden.

PubliGroupe, headquartered in Lausanne, is selling a 51% stake of Xentive, the Business Process Outsourcing provider of Publicitas, to Mediaspectrum Inc., a Boston-based company offering premier software solutions for managing cross-channel advertising sales, production and content management in the cloud.

The US technology provider for financial markets, Prediction Company, was acquired from UBS by an affiliate of Millennium Partners, which is part of a global investment management complex with over 1200 employees.

Syngenta has signed an agreement to sell its Dulcinea Farms business to Pacific Trellis Fruit LLC, a US-based international grower and marketer of fresh produce.

Tenex Capital Management, the New York based private equity firm focused on middle market investments, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the machinery and tools business of Zurich-headquartered Walter Meier AG.

Reverse Investments & Partnerships

ABB has completed its previously announced acquisition of Power-One, based in Camarillo, Calif. Power-One provides renewable energy and of energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions. ABB also completed the acquisition of Los Gatos Research, a Mountain View Calif. company specializing in laser-based analyses of gases and liquids.

Zurich-based mobile advertiser Adello Group AG has merged with Chicago headquartered HStreaming Inc., a worldwide supplier of big data real time analytics.

Clariant Oil Services, Muttenz, Basel-Land, is acquiring the deepwater business of Houston-headquartered Champion Technologies. The acquired assets include oil and gas production chemical services in the deep water Gulf of Mexico.
Credit-Suisse AG has acquired the Private Wealth Management EMEA business of Morgan Stanley. The deal will see CS gain more than $13bn of assets under management from business units based in the UK, Italy and Dubai that serve predominately international clients across Europe.

Endress+Hauser announced the acquisition of Kaiser Optical Systems Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich. Kaiser is a leader in spectrographic instrumentation and applied holographic technology.

Foster Wheeler AG has acquired Yonkers Industries Inc., a Cary, N.C. firm that specializes in the management of construction and commissioning of pharmaceutical and biotech facilities.

Zug-based multinational publishing and conferencing company Informa Group has acquired Elsevier Business Intelligence, Bedminster, N.J.

Portec Group International, Canon City Colo., has been integrated into the Interroll Group, canton Ticino. Interroll, headquartered Sant'Antonino, canton Ticino, specializes in equipment supporting internal logistics.

Kasaya International Ltd, Lausanne, a provider of IT service management software, has acquired Zyrion Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif., supplier of cloud and IT service monitoring software solutions.

Roche has acquired Constitution Medical Investors Inc., based in Boston. CMI is the developer of a highly innovative hematology testing system, which is designed to provide faster and more accurate diagnosis of blood-related diseases, thereby improving patient care.

Winterthur based Sulzer AG acquired the carbon business of Thermoset Inc. in Mequon, Wisconsin.

Harry Winston Diamond Corporation sold its luxury brand diamond jewelry and timepiece division, Harry Winston Inc., to Swatch Group Ltd for US$750 million.

Aryzta AG, Zurich, is likely to acquire the Pita Pan Old World Bakery in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Pita Pan manufactures flatbread for restaurant chains and wholesale bakery customers.

Kuehne + Nagel has opened a new center in Atlanta to serve as an integrated logistics gateway to reach 80 per cent of US consumers in two flight hours or two truckload delivery days.

Infors HT, headquartered in Bottmingen, canton Basel-Land, a producer of shakers, bioreactors and bioprocess control software, has opened new offices in the USA. Infors HT was represented in the US by ATR (Appropriate Technical Resources Inc.) in Laurel, Md. It has taken over this part of the ATR business - including its infrastructure, the existing customer relations, and full complement of staff.

Winterthur-based Autoneum, a provider of acoustic and thermal management solutions for motor vehicles, plans to build two new facilities in the US. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 in response to growing demand.

Metals and mining company Nyrstar, based in Zurich, has opened a mining headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, creating 25 jobs. The company invested $150,000 establishing the 660 sq m facility to serve the Americas.

Appenzell-based Huber+Suhner, a provider of electrical and optical connectivity solutions, plans to open its North America headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company will invest $3m, creating 50 jobs. The facility will also include sales, distribution and management, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

Farmers Insurance, an ultimate subsidiary of Switzerland-based Zurich Insurance Group, has opened a new branch in Corning, Calif. The office provides a range of insurance services including Spanish language support.

Swiss Space Systems, canton Vaud, has established a US subsidiary in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC, as a headquarters location and enable the subsidiary to establish partnerships with leaders of the US space industry. An example is its plans to establish operations in Colorado after partnering with Spaceport Colorado.

From The Foreign Desk

Three from Germany:

Logistics firm DB Schenker is investing over 40 million francs to build a new logistics center in Pfungen near Zurich.

Logistics provider Dachser is expanding its presence in Switzerland with the opening of a new site in the Bern region, its ninth in the country.

Commerzbank AG is expanding its corporate banking business with the opening of five new branches in 2014.

Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings, an underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, announced that its European subsidiary, ArgoGlobal SE, received a license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to conduct business through its new branch office in Zurich.

BMT Surveys, a subsidiary of UK-based BMT Group Ltd, a design, engineering and risk management consultancy, opened a new office in Geneva.

Genae Associates NV, a Belgium-based Contract Research Organization (CRO) and services firm for the medical device sector, launched Genae International AG in Zurich.

Mayanot Eden, Europe's largest supplier of water coolers to offices, agreed to sell its European and Israeli operations to New York-based private equity firm Rhone Capital LLC for $93.4 million.

Other News from our Worldwide Sources

Switzerland at 81.6 moved from 5th to 4th ranking globally and retained its first place in Europe, in the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. The US for the first time dropped out of the top 10. The index rates a nation's commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 in 10 categories.

Switzerland ranks 2nd after Norway the overall rankings in the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Canada, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark. The Index ranks 142 countries based on a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth and quality of life. The U.S. ranked 11th.

The Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index 2013 places Switzerland 3rd in Europe after Germany and the UK in terms of attractiveness for immigration and investment. The Index tracks the global reputation of 50 countries by examining perceptions of nations in the six areas: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment.

According to the OECD's Government at a Glance report for 2013, 77% of Swiss trusted their government in 2012, up from 63% in 2007. That's the highest level of trust across all 34 member countries. The report uses more than 50 indicators ranging from hospital waiting times to government spending.

The 2014 R&D Magazine/Battelle Global Funding Forecast for 2014 shows Switzerland's gross expenditures on R&D at 2.9% of its $382 billion GDP, a percentage consistent since 2012. The same percentage is forecast for Germany and Denmark, with Finland at 3.5% and Sweden at 3.4% leading in Europe.

Zurich ranks 5th following London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore in the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) for 2013. Zurich and Geneva rank 2nd and 3rd after London in the European index.

Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perception Index lists Switzerland as 7th, 5th in Europe among 177 nations around the world. Canada ranks 9th and the US 19th

The IBM-Plant Location International 2013 Global Location Trends Report ranks Switzerland 6th, 4th in Europe, in terms of average value of investment projects.

The U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation recently released an index measuring the science and technology collaboration between the United States and other leading countries.
A concentration of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in Switzerland explains the country's position atop the rankings, according to USISTF director Ann Liebschutz. The country has a history of grading well in innovations rankings.

Solar energy production in Switzerland nearly doubled in 2013 according to the trade association Swissolar. Solar power facilities covering a surface area of 2.1 square kilometers were built, although the growth rate of solar panel installation fell. Across the country, the solar power output increased to 730 megawatts, equaling 1% of power needed nationally, or the yearly amount required for around 200,000 households.

Did you know?

December 17 marked the 500th anniversary of Appenzell joining the Swiss Confederation. Comprised of two half cantons (Inner and Outer Rhodes), it is the only Swiss canton to be completely surrounded by another - St. Gallen.

Release distributed since our last report:

November 19 - CVSL Establishes European Headquarters in Switzerland

New York, Winter 2013-14

 

Date : 2014-02-19 14:47:40