Kermas Limited is an international investment corporation, which operates its own assets through a range of daughter companies. The group’s primary focus is mining and mineral processing activities, but Kermas has since adopted a strategy of diversification and growth. It has now major investments in renewable energy, real estate, marina development, agriculture and shipbuilding.
Kermas’ resounding success story can be traced back to the Russian region of Chelyabinsk. In1999 Kermas acquired the first production entity, the bankrupt Russian Chrome Chemicals Company. Under Kermas’ leadership, Russian Chrome Chemicals renewed production and was soon brought back into profitability. Following on from this early success, Kermas expanded further and in 2003 took over Serov Ferro-Alloys Plant, a Russian chrome and ferrochrome producer, closely followed by the acquisition of Elektrowerk Weisweiler (EWW) in Germany in 2004.
The Grand Expansion
In 2005 Kermas continued its expansion by successfully acquiring a majority interest in the Samancor Chrome (SC), the second largest integrated ferrochrome producer in the world previously owned by BHP Billiton and Anglo American. Kermas successively transformed SC and vastly improved its profitability, before selling its interest in November 2009. Dr. Danko Koncar, Kermas director since the company’s incorporation, has been the main architect of SC’s impressive transformation throughout.
Kermas’ commitment to diversification dates back to 2007 with expansion the scope of its mining business. Kermas became involved in the exploration of metal and mineral reserves in Burundi, and South Africa. In 2007 Kermas invested in Veremo, which has exploration rights for iron, titanium and vanadium in South Africa while in 2008 obtained a large-scale exploration license for nickel by the Burundian government.
Following the exit from Samancor, Kermas has continued to evolve, grow and diversify. In 2008, it began purchase of Afarak (ex Ruukki Group) shares and worked to re-orientate the wood-processing firm into an international mineral processing organization. Through a range of acquisitions in the last few years, Afarak has undergone a fast-paced transformation and managed to grow into one of the 20 biggest ferrochrome producers in the world.
Strategy going forward
Kermas’ forward-looking growth centers on the company expanding its interests and investing and developing other non-mining businesses around the world. So far, the largest focus has been in the field of renewable, green energies – a major growth industry for the 21st century.
Kermas now owns or has invested in hydro projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, wind farms in Croatia and solar project in Burundi. We firmly believe these examples are just a small preview of bigger and better things to come and plan to continue our investment in this sector. The company has set itself a target of cumulatively producing more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources by the end of the decade.
In order to achieve these ambitions goals, Kermas is researching its own green technologies that have already begun to show great promise. An underwater, screw turbine has been our crowning achievement to date and is telling of the major accomplishments we foresee in the near future.
Real Estate and Tourism
Real Estate is the other crucial pillar in Kermas’s investment portfolio. Here, our investment plans are mainly concentrated on the construction of tourist resorts on the magnificent Adriatic coast. Through our work with selected partners, we plan to develop several tourist resorts, alongside golf and marina facilities on the Brijuni Riviera.
As part of Kermas’ $1bn property investment in Croatia, we will construct classical Istrian villas and world-class luxury marinas in Trogir and St Katarina.
Shipyard revival and transformation
In Croatia Kermas has expanded its business into shipbuilding by acquiring the state-owned Brodotrogir shipyard. Kermas’ plans to transform the shipyard, which has long been a vital part of the local economy, into a modern, market-oriented company which will become a generator of jobs and economic growth, not just for Trogir, but for the whole Adriatic region.
Our Vision going forward
Mining, real estate and renewable energy will continue to be Kermas' main interest areas for the forseeable future. The company will seek investments in projects guided by the principle that superior investments returns can be achieved by incorporating ethical, social and environment factors.