Schopfloch, Germany – Homag Group is acquiring a majority interest in the Danish mechanical engineering company Kallesoe Machinery A/S. The investment helps Homag position itself as a leading technology supplier to a sector expected to grow rapidly: mass wood construction.
The market includes high-rise wood construction, with edifices reaching 14 stories and up. It also includes large-scale four- and five-story buildings sometimes filling a full city block. To support the weight of the structure both types eliminate steel or concrete, replacing it with massive wood panels and thick wooden pillars glued together on specialized presses.
Kallesoe specializes in high-frequency presses for the production of board plywood – also known as cross laminated timber – which is used, among other things, for the construction of walls for timber houses. The 70-employee company was founded in 1969, generates a turnover of around €20 million ($24 million U.S.), and has installed around 500 presses worldwide.
Kallesoe is one of the few suppliers of presses that use high-frequency radio waves to accelerate the curing of the adhesive. Wood processing plants are able to produce faster and more flexibly with this technology. At the same time, operating costs are reduced because the adhesive is cheaper than with alternative bonding processes.
Homag is acquiring 70% of Kallesoe Machinery A/S from the Christensen family, while the Kallesoe family will retain 30%. Homag put the purchase price as somewhere under €15 million ($18 million U.S.).
“It was important for us to find a competent investor for Kallesoe, who will lead the business into a successful future. We are confident that Homag is exactly the right partner for this,” says Otto Christensen, who had previously held the majority stake. “We look forward to working with Homag to expand our position in the growth market of solid wood construction,” said Bruno Kallesoe, chief sales officer of Kallesoe Machinery A/S.
“As a system supplier, we want to offer as many technologies for timber construction as possible from a single source,” said Ralf W. Dieter, CEO of Homag Group AG. “Due to the boom in the timber house market, the production of building elements is becoming increasingly industrialized and automated. Homag is the right partner for that. We are developing the solid wood business into a second pillar alongside our activities with the furniture industry.”
As a result of the acquisition, Homag says its product range covers 70% of the process chain in the production of glued laminated timber elements. Homag pooled all activities in the solid wood sector into its Solid Wood Processing business unit. A central role is played by its subsidiary Weinmann, which offers production facilities for timber construction and manufactured housing.
The mechanical engineering company System TM, which was acquired in 2020, is also based in Denmark and offers systems for the sorting, optimizing and finger-jointing of solid wood boards. Kallesoe has already cooperated with System TM on several projects in the past. In the U.S., Stiles Machinery operates as is a member of the Homag Group. Stiles offers Hundegger large-scale CNCs for fabricating the massive CLT panels and carries the Weinmann lines of assembly systems used in pre-fabricated and factory home-building.
Homag says it understands the rapidly growing market for sustainable timber houses, noting more builders around the world are choosing wood as a building material since it is a fast-growing resource that sequesters CO². Building with timber is climate-friendly, and according to experts, a wood house binds about 80,000 kg (about 88 tons) of CO². Timber has very good insulating properties, and the use of wood components speeds the construction of houses. In terms of fire protection, modern timber houses are almost comparable to reinforced concrete constructions. Building heights of 100 meters are also possible with wood. In the U.S., the world’s tallest wood building, 25 stories, is now under construction in Milwaukee.