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Attracted by decentralised model

In 2022, Asker acquired Swiss MedTech supplier Gribi AG Belp from its owner and Managing Director, Cornel Kägi. Gribi is a leading supplier of medical equipment to the Swiss hospital market. With products mainly in surgery, ear-nose-and throat, orthopaedics and ostomy.


Cornel Kägi was not actually planning to sell his company, but wanted the muscle to expand. When the dialogue with Asker began, he realised that Asker could give him and his company the opportunity to be part of a bigger picture, to be able to share ideas and knowledge with others, but still be able to run his own business. This was important, because it was one of the reasons he once chose to become an entrepreneur – to have a large measure of freedom.

“My values are very much in line with Asker's. I’m an entrepreneur to the core and was attracted by Asker's decentralised model. My team and I take responsibility for ensuring that the Group's values, rules and policies are upheld. But we’re free to choose our own way forward”, says Gribi Managing Director Cornel Kägi.


Opportunities for Asker in a market with many entrepreneurial operators

The Swiss healthcare system is compulsory and universal, but it has a high level of private sector involvement. Swiss healthcare is ranked among the very best in the world, but is the third most expensive, after the USA and Germany, according to OECD statistics.

The Swiss market is fragmented with many small providers, and hospitals have an important role to play as purchasers of medical equipment. Consolidation is under way in the industry and many small healthcare providers are seeking various ways to streamline their operations. Many entrepreneurial companies in Switzerland are now looking for an exit. In that situation, Asker has the opportunity to become a good owner with financial muscle, and can offer support to enable companies to develop and continue growing.

“When I was approached by Asker, I saw the potential for the company’s further expansion. We entered into discussions that resulted in me selling to Asker but staying on as Managing Director of the company. I feel that I’ve received a lot of support from Asker and I’m happy to have acquired a broader mandate. I now head Asker's entire Swiss operation, which will continue to grow, both organically and through acquisitions”, continues Cornel Kägi.


Continued expansion for Asker in Switzerland

Asker sees several attractive opportunities for further acquisitions in the Swiss market, where Cornel Kägi, his team and effective networks have already created business opportunities. Asker's ambition is both to continue to expand in Switzerland and to expand its offering to include more categories and channels.