Steklarna Hrastnik to take over Serbian glassworks SFS Paraćin

With this operation Steklarna Hrastnik has reached an important milestone in achieving its strategic objectives

Through its owner, GlobalGlass from Switzerland, Steklarna Hrastnik is taking over the SFS Paraćin glassworks in Serbia, which will become its affiliated sister company and will contribute significantly to the implementation of the Group’s strategic plans.

By investing in the SFS Paraćin glassworks, which was in bankruptcy before being taken over and was the subject of a national programme for the revitalisation of the glass industry in Serbia, the GlobalGlass Group will increase its production capacities by around 30 tonnes per day and the assortment of its products.

Peter Čas, MA, Chief Executive Officer of Steklarna Hrastnik, said, ”The bulk of production in Serbia will involve the standard quality of glass for the food industry and supply of the Serbian market and markets of South-East Europe, where there is a shortage of supply. Meanwhile, the majority of Steklarna Hrastnik’s export will still be focused on strategic markets of Western Europe and of premium and super premium glass quality.”

With the expansion of business operations in Serbia, all development and strategic investment plans of the Group in Hrastnik proceed uninterruptedly – the final stage includes the conceptual design of the new furnace/factory with which the production capacities in Hrastnik will increase by over 200 tonnes per day. In addition to this, the commercial and industrial zone, where the construction of a new decoration factory is being planned in the coming years, is currently under construction.

An investment in the renovation and construction of a new hybrid B furnace is being planned for next year as well as investments in innovative projects in the area of energy solutions and digitalisation. With the expansion of the GlobalGlass holding company, the significance of the glassworks in Hrastnik is being further reinforced. Steklarna Hrastnik remains committed to realising all the currently planned investment potentials, development and expansion in the local environment.

The glassworks in Paraćin and Steklarna Hrastnik have a similar history and seek to achieve the same objectives. The extensive specific knowledge, acquired in Hrastnik, in the field of business transformation and shift from mass segments of the glass market to premium ones will play a key role in the further expansion of operations of the GlobalGlass Group at the location of Hrastnik as well as at the new production location in Serbia. The Group has ambitious growth plans on the European glass market and it will allocate over EUR 100 million in the coming years to further modernise and expand business operations in Slovenia as well as in Serbia.

The takeover of SFS Paraćin is still the subject of usual suspensive conditions, including the approval of competent institutions for the protection of competition. The procedures are expected to conclude by the end of Q1 of next year.

At the same time, the glassworks from Hrastnik is continuing with the implementation of already confirmed investments at the location of Hrastnik, relating to increasing and further modernising its current production capacities as well as the new factory and expanding within the commercial and industrial zone, which is under construction. Upon taking over the glassworks in Serbia, investments in Hrastnik alone will exceed EUR 34 million next year.

In recent years, the strategic plans for the development of business operations of Steklarna Hrastnik and the GlobalGlass Group involve an extensive transformation and shift from the manufacture of lighting, tableware and packaging glass with lower added value to a more complex segment of specialised packaging glass (mostly for the beverage industry), where there is a higher demand for quality as well as higher market growth rates.

Owing to extensive investments in the amount over EUR 93 million in the last 6 years and changes to manufacturing programmes, Steklarna Hrastnik has already managed to become one of the leading European providers of special packaging glass with an enormous potential for further growth, business expansion and strengthening of the market share.