Czech businessman buys Austrian ski-maker


Czech billionaire Tomáš Němec has expanded his ski-manufacturing business by acquiring a majority share in the Austrian company Kästle, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The parties concerned refused to provide any further details concerning the acquisition, but it is expected that part of the Austrian company’s production will move to the Czech Republic.

Tomáš Němec, a former rubber industry businessman and a former top-level skier, already owns the Czech based ski manufacturer Sporten from Nové Město na Moravě, which he bought last year.

According to Forbes magazine, the majority owner of Kästle will be Sporten ConsilTech, a joint stock company controlled by Mr Němec.

The company’s headquarters and development division will remain in Austria’s Hohenems, but part of the production will probably move to Sporten’s plant in the east of the Czech Republic. The Czech company produces around 100,000 pairs of skis a year for most of the global ski-brands.

The Austrian company Kästle, which was founded in 1924, has been going through reorganisation since 2007. The company currently employs 46 people and its annual turnover reaches 6.5 million euros. This year, Kastle is expected to produce around 17,000 pairs of skis, which are mainly destined for the Austrian and US markets.

According to Forbes, Němec is planning on creating a major production group in ski industry. He is already a majority owner of LevelSportKoncept, a company representing major ski-equipment producers and also owns one tenth of the country’s biggest ski centre in Špindlerův Mlýn in the Krkonoše Mountains.