The Saarland – similar to the Ruhr area – has long been shaped by coal and steel and had to cope with a difficult structural change. This has been successfully achieved, not least thanks to the bridging function between Germany, France and Benelux. These three Saarland hidden champions also stand for this: The presented companies belong to the largest companies in Germany.
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1. Nanogate SE, Quierschied: €242 million in sales
Nanogate was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from the University of Saarbrücken. The business idea: to produce plastics that can be easily shaped and are also scratch-resistant and weatherproof. Special emphasis is placed on glass-like and transparent plastics. Nanogate solutions are used as nano-thin protective and surface coatings, for example in automotive engineering or displays. The number of employees is around 1,200. In future, the Nanogate story will continue in a different form. On 1 July 2021, the core business was acquired by the US technology group Techniplus. The subsidiaries Nanogate Textile & Care Systems GmbH and Nanogate Electronic Systems GmbH are also to be sold, while the rest of the company will be dissolved.
2. HYDAC INTERNATIONAL GmbH, Sulzbach/Saar: EUR 85 million sales
The HYDAC business started in 1963 with the supply of hydraulic accessories. This is also indicated by the company name: HYDAC stands for “HYDrauliques ACcessoires”. Today, the product portfolio is much broader and, in addition to hydraulics, also includes products and solutions in the fields of control technology, drive technology, thermal management and engineering. HYDAC INTERNATIONAL is the holding company for more than 52 national companies and around two dozen product or service-related subsidiaries. Production takes place in Germany and at other locations in England, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, the USA, India, China and Korea. The group of companies is family-owned and employs over 9,000 people.
3. Peter Gross Bau Holding GmbH, St. Ingbert: 419 million euros turnover
Peter Gross Bau started in 1885 in St. Ingbert, which was still Bavarian at the time, as a classic bricklaying company. The business model has remained the same in principle, but has long since reached other dimensions. Today Peter Gross Bau is a respectable medium-sized construction group with almost 1,300 employees. The group is active in the fields of building construction, infrastructure and structural engineering. Geographically, the focus is on southern Germany, especially Baden-Württemberg. Here Peter Gross Bau has ten branches. With locations in Luxembourg and Basel, the company is also active beyond the German borders. Peter Gross Bau is a fourth-generation family-owned company.
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