Norwegian technology company with top investors on the team signs contract with pharmaceutical giant


The Norwegian technology company Kezzler has experienced significant growth in recent years. On the owner’s side are a number of Norway’s foremost «family offices»: Watrium as, controlled by Anders CG Wilhelmsen and his four children, the Fekene family’s Pinnacle and Erik Langakers Vestland Invest.

Kezzler as ended last year with a turnover growth of 48 percent where it had a turnover of approximately NOK 28 million in 2019 at group level. A significant part of the turnover came from annual current income. The company’s value was last set at NOK 400 million.

The company has now signed an agreement with the German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer for its code marking technology.

– We are very pleased with the agreement, says general manager Christine C. Akselsen.

– This is an important confirmation that not only do our solutions have great value for customers, but they are also chosen by some of the largest companies in the world, she says.

The contract stipulates that Kezzler will contribute to the verification of seeds used in agriculture to protect farmers from counterfeit seeds.

Started in 2002

According to the company, the story of Kezzler got its start when founder Magnar Løken in 2002 got an idea after reading about a plane that crashed outside Denmark in 1989, where all lives on board were lost. The crash was due to forged bolts that only withstood 60 percent of what the original bolt withstood.

In 2002, Løken Kezzler started, with the idea of ​​placing a unique code on each individual product, so that it became possible to trace it back to the origin and thus prove its authenticity.

Over the next 18 years, the industry has become a global industry.

– We have been a small company that became Formula 1, a small company that became a preferred supplier in a large market. We have managed that, and the contract with Bayer cements our reputation, says Erik Langaker, who sits as chairman of the board of Kezzler.

The investor has earned a fortune on his portfolio in Vestland Invest, where he usually joins the companies as chairman of the board and works to build long-term value.

Long-term perspective is also needed in Kezzler: The company has spent almost NOK 200 million on growth over the past five years. In 2019, the deficit ended at just under DKK 32 million. The figures do not include the company’s subsidiaries abroad, as these are not reported in the Norwegian accounts.

– When other companies see that Bayer offers products with solutions for tracking and authentication, they will want to be able to offer the same.

Investor Erik Langaker i Vestland Invest.

Investor Erik Langaker in Vestland Invest. (Photo: Per Thrana)

The company’s revenue comes from a license fee that allows the customer to access the code products, an implementation cost, as well as a volume component where it gets paid for how many codes that customers have access to.

– We have already delivered tracking solutions to Bayer, which they have been very pleased with. So now it will be scaled up, and a regular customer agreement for us will between five and ten times in size in the future, says Langaker.

Considering listing

Langaker points out that the contracts the company enters into, which are renewed continuously, can provide current income of more than ten million kroner a year. He emphasizes that the Bayer contract has even greater potential.

– We have income from day one, and agreements like this will after a few years be able to generate a constant cash flow in the area of ​​ten million a year, the investor says.

– It is clear that in the short term, Covid-19 makes it difficult to estimate, but when we get a new, large contract, it usually takes around 18-24 months before it starts to provide stable income of more than 10 million a year. Then maybe we should manage three times that on a customer as large as Bayer in the long run.

Langaker says the interest in the company is great, and that it is therefore natural to consider a stock exchange listing.

– We have seen the emergence of Merkur Market, and based on this we have had a dialogue about a possible listing. It is natural that we carry out a rights issue either in advance of or in connection with a possible listing. (Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and / or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link, which leads directly to our pages. Copying or other form of use of all or part of the content, can only take place with written permission or as permitted by law. For further terms see here.


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