Ganterschwil / Stockholm, 10 July 2018: The Swiss-based Berlinger Group (which comprises Berlinger & Co. AG and Berlinger Special AG) announced changes to its corporate strategy and management today.
The biggest change relates to the Group’s world-renowned anti-doping kits, which have been used for decades at Olympic Games, athletics championships and soccer’s FIFA World Cup, including the 2018 competition which is currently under way. The management of Berlinger Special AG has been working intensively over the past few months to put the distribution and the further development of the company’s BEREG-Kit anti-doping bottles, which have become the international norm for doping control activities, onto a new strategic basis. As a result of these endeavours, the Board of Directors of Berlinger Special AG has announced today that production of these anti-doping products will continue, and that their sustainable further development will be entrusted to the reputed Swedish-based Professor Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation (www.arneljungqvist.com). Andrea Berlinger, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Berlinger Special AG and Professor Arne Ljungqvist, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Stockholm on Friday 6 July under which Berlinger’s anti-doping products should in future be distributed and further developed by the Swedish-based Foundation.
A sustainable long-term solution
Berlinger Special AG announced at the beginning of this year that it would be withdrawing from the anti-doping sector in the medium term, but would be seeking a means of ensuring the sustainable continued production and provision of its anti-doping products, which have become the global standard in the doping control field. In the Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation, Berlinger has now found a partner which has been similarly dedicated to ensuring clean and fair sporting competition for several decades now. The foundation, which was established and is chaired by Professor Arne Ljungqvist, is regarded as both a pioneering force and a centre of expertise within the international anti-doping community, and both it and its activities are highly regarded all over the world. The foundation also has H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco as its patron.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed in Stockholm on Friday 6 July signals the start of a project to devise and develop a more detailed agreement that should be ready for signature within two to three months. Under the new arrangement, Berlinger Special AG will no longer drive the further development of its anti-doping BEREG-Kits but will entrust such development and the overall technical management of the products concerned to one of the most reputed organizations in the anti-doping world. The Foundation is also committing to further activities under the new accord, including promoting further anti-doping research and development and supporting the standardization of doping control processes.
Andrea Berlinger, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Berlinger Special AG, views the new partnership as a landmark achievement. “In Professor Arne Ljundqvist and his Foundation, we have found a partner that is committed to the highest ethical and moral sporting principles,” she explains. “And Berlinger is proud that, through this new accord, we will remain part of the global anti-doping movement.”
The partners have further agreed under the new Memorandum of Understanding that the production of the current BEREG-Kit anti-doping bottles which are used all over the world should remain at the headquarters of the Berlinger Group in Ganterschwil in Eastern Switzerland. Feedback from the market over the years has confirmed that Berlinger’s anti-doping products have become the industry norm. And the world’s doping control organizations and its global sports federations are keen to ensure that they can continue to count on Berlinger’s BEREG products in their joint endeavours to ensure clean and fair sporting competition.
A new management structure for the Berlinger Group
As part of the strategic realignment of the Berlinger Group with its two constituent companies Berlinger & Co. AG (which specializes in temperature monitoring technologies) and Berlinger Special AG (with its focus on anti-doping products), the boards of directors of the two companies have appointed a new CEO to assume overall responsibility for the Group’s operational management. Thomas Bechter, who is 47, can draw on extensive international business and management experience, and has been serving as a consultant to the Berlinger Group, advising on its strategic realignment, since March of this year. He acquired his management experience and his extensive knowledge of today’s technologies at a number of international corporations including Nissan Renault (in Switzerland), Nikon Corporation Europe (in the Netherlands) and the Berner Group (in Germany). He will assume his new duties on 1 August.
Berlinger to remain a family concern
With the change at the operational top of the Berlinger Group, current co-CEOs Andrea Berlinger and Daniel Schwyter are showing a clear commitment to dedicating themselves in future to the Group’s strategic further development. Both will remain active members of the boards of directors of the Group’s two business entities, temperature monitoring technologies and anti-doping products. Andrea Berlinger will also remain Chairman of the Board and will devote herself specifically to the details of the new partnership with the Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation over the next few months. She is also set to become a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees once the transfer is completed of the responsibilities concerned.
The appointment of Thomas Bechter as CEO of the Berlinger Group will also enable the owning family to focus more of their energies on the further development of its temperature monitoring technologies division, which is already the largest within the Group in business terms. Temperature monitoring is a technologically demanding field that is rapidly evolving internationally; and the monitoring of cold chains and clinical trials is a business segment that is seeing strong global growth, and one in which Berlinger & Co. AG is already one of the leading market players.
These strategic and organizational changes at the Berlinger Group should not have any impact on overall workforce numbers. And the Berlinger Group will continue to be led and managed with the overall objective of achieving further sound and sustainable growth.
On the Berlinger Group / Berlinger & Co. AG / Berlinger Special AG
c/o KMES Partner I KLAUS
8001 Zurich / Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 544 1744
Pictures: © Ulf Lodin