Saxony is one of the regions where industrialization took hold early on. Many companies that are still well-known today were founded here. After reunification, the state developed into a prosperous area of eastern Germany. Saxony has the highest GDP per capita of all the new federal states – also thanks to these three hidden champions: The presented companies belong to the largest companies in Saxony.
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1. Kirow Ardelt GmbH, Leipzig: 120 million euros turnover
The origins of Kirow Ardelt go back to the company “Technisches Bureau und Maschinenbauanstalt” founded in Leipzig in 1880. After several name changes in the GDR, this became “VEB Schwermaschinenbau S.M. Kirow Leipzig”, which later became part of the TAKRAF combine. In the course of the reunification the privatization took place. Kirow Ardelt is the world market leader for railway cranes and slag transport. It also manufactures transport systems for shipyards and metallurgy. Kirow Ardelt GmbH has branches in Eberswalde and Ulm in addition to the Leipzig plant (Kirow). The company employs around 200 people.
2. Freiberger Compound Materials GmbH, Freiberg: 66 million euros turnover
Freiberg Compound Materials (FCM) emerged from the GDR state-owned company “VEB Spurenmetalle Freiberg (SMF)”. Its origins lay in the Institute for Nonferrous Metals, founded in 1949. The business model already pursued in the GDR was further developed. FCM is a highly specialized semiconductor manufacturer and produces GaAS wafers (GaAS = semiconductor material gallium arsenide) from single crystals grown using special processes. The Freiberg-based company is the world market leader in this semiconductor sector. Its customers are companies in the microelectronics and optoelectronics sectors. FCM is owned by the Israeli private equity company Federmann Enterprises Ltd., which is backed by the entrepreneur Michael Federmann. The company employs around 300 people.
3. FEP Fahrzeugelektrik Pirna GmbH & Co. KG, Pirna: approx. 100 million euros turnover
FEP Fahrzeugelektrik manufactures switching elements, connectors and plastic parts for the automotive industry. Founded as early as 1949, the company subsequently manufactured trailer connectors, battery master switches and switch combinations for GDR car manufacturing and for the automotive industry in other Eastern Bloc countries. Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the company remained true to this business model in changing markets. The company employs over 400 people. FEP Fahrzeugelektrik is part of the US group Amphenol Corporation. Based in Wallingford, Connecticut, the company is one of the world’s largest connector manufacturers, focusing on connectors for fiber optics and electrical cables.
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