Beyond Gravity sets up lithography division as it prepares for sale

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Swiss space equipment maker Beyond Gravity is reorganising to create a new lithography division alongside its launcher and satellite work ahead of a sale by 2025

The lithography business produces apertures and stabilizers for the production of semiconductors for 20 years and has grown strongly recently with promising developments, says André Wall, who took over as CEO 100 days ago.

“Our lithography business has become an important pillar in recent years and is a good example of how high-tech developed in the space sector can also benefit applications on Earth.”

The business has grown to 120 employees as a strategic partner of the market leader for semiconductor laser optics for lithography machines which are made by companies such as ASML in the Netherlands and Applied Materials in the US.

The previously central functions of Sales, Engineering and Operations will be integrated directly into the three divisions, enabling them to offer their customers best-in-class solutions and independently set the course for growth and providing an opportunity to spin them out as independent businesses.

The new organization for the company, formerly known as Ruag Space, will take effect as of January 1, 2023.

“With our new organization, we want to create the best possible basis for profitable growth in the rapidly developing space market and further expand our leading position in structures for launchers, satellites and in the field of space electronics,” said Wall.

“To this end, we are establishing an agile organization tailored to our customers and products, which enables rapid decision-making and supports the digital transformation of the company – prerequisites for success under the changed conditions of the commercial market.”

The divisions are supported by Finance, HR, and Corporate Strategy & Transformation.

The restructuring means changes in the board from today.

Paul Horstink, who as head of sister company Ruag International Aerostructures in Emmen will take over the management of the Launchers division with 650 staff developing composite structures and separation systems for European, American, and Japanese launchers).

Simon Hächler, who was previously Director Finance & Controlling for this business unit, will take over for him as head of the Aerostructures site in Emmen.

Anders Linder becomes Head of the Satellites division with around 750 employees.

The newly created Lithography division will be led by Oliver Kunz, who was previously responsible for Beyond Gravity’s Engineering function.

Beyond Gravity and RUAG Aerostructures are currently combined under the umbrella of RUAG International Holding and together employ around 3,000 people in seven countries and at 13 sites. By the end of 2023, RUAG International Holding also intends to find suitable partners for the aerostructures units in Switzerland (Emmen), Germany (Oberpfaffenhofen) and Hungary (Eger).

The divestment of Beyond Gravity is planned by the end of 2025 at the latest.

Once these divestments have been completed, the current owner, the Swiss Confederation, will no longer hold any shares in RUAG International Holding.

Several business units have already been successfully divested in recent months and years, with the Ammotec unit with 2,700 employees worldwide sold to Beretta Holding at the end of July 2022, and the MRO International unit in Australia was successfully sold to the Australian company ASDAM at the end of August 2022.

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