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EU ACCESSION TO BRING SLOVAK LABOUR CLOSER TO EUROPE

Trenkwalder eyes Slovak personnel services market

AUSTRIAN investors are about to enter the area of personnel services in Slovakia. The Trenkwalder group has recently signed an agreement for the acquisition of a leading Slovak personnel consulting company, Management Partners Group (MPG).
Trenkwalder, however, is not a newcomer to the Slovak market. It has been present here since 1992 through its IT subsidiary, now called Trenkwalder Technologies. Trenkwalder's human resources and personnel services began working in Slovakia in 2001.

AUSTRIAN investors are about to enter the area of personnel services in Slovakia. The Trenkwalder group has recently signed an agreement for the acquisition of a leading Slovak personnel consulting company, Management Partners Group (MPG).

Trenkwalder, however, is not a newcomer to the Slovak market. It has been present here since 1992 through its IT subsidiary, now called Trenkwalder Technologies. Trenkwalder's human resources and personnel services began working in Slovakia in 2001.

An effort to expand further in the Slovak personnel services market resulted in the acquisition of an 80 percent stake in MPG, a company that has served the Slovak market for 10 years.

According to Trenkwalder, the merger reflects the foreign investor's interest in the Slovak labour market, which will soon become a part of Europe.

"This acquisition is in line with the firm's strategy to become one of the most important providers of personnel services in central Europe," said Richard Trenkwalder, the company's founder and chairman of the board of directors.

The new joint company should take advantage of MPG's deep knowledge of the Slovak labour market, and Trenkwalder international's know-how and experience with the central European workforce.

"Bratislava is closer to Vienna than any other European city. The recently adopted 19 percent flat income tax rate makes Slovakia an attractive country for investments and for us, as well," said Stefan Biricz, a member of the board of directors of Trenkwalder Personaldienste (personnel services).

As Lívia Osvaldová, executive of MPG, said, the main reason for approving the acquisition was the nearing date of Slovakia's accession to the European Union and progressing globalisation.

"MPG has found a strategic partner with international and European labour market know-how. We used to only be in touch with this market through foreign managers who were looking for Slovak employees," she added.

Trenkwalder Personaldienste is the biggest personnel provider in Austria, with a 17 percent market share.

MPG and Trenkwalder Personaldienste in Slovakia are now waiting for the merger. This step will put them in a leading position in the Slovak personnel services market, especially in personnel leasing, outsourcing, recruitment and assessment, training, and internet consultancy.

After finishing the merger, the new company will work under the joint logo and brand Trenkwalder Management Partners Group.

Trenkwalder Technologies, the branch aimed at providing IT services, employs 70 people in Bratislava today. It looks after the IT infrastructure of the whole Trenkwalder group in eight European countries.

The IT branch also oversees the development of embedded systems for Austrian and other European companies. Such systems are today an inevitable part of every household appliance. Trenkwalder Technologies provides outsourcing for testing and developing activities of embedded software and hardware for consumer electronics and mechatronics.

Trenkwalder Technologies plans further expansion by providing services for German, Czech, and other European companies, and especially for international firms operating in Slovakia.

"The most important factors for a Western company deciding whether to come to Slovakia or not are the reduction of costs, overcoming the language barrier, and acceptable corporate culture," said Miroslav Janov, outsourcing manager of Trenkwalder Technologies. Trenkwalder has found such conditions in Slovakia.

Trenkwalder was established in 1985. Originally, it focused on pipe systems and technological units. Later, the company's founder found the question of costs to be very important. In 1992 he established the subsidiary company Trenkwalder Engineering in Slovakia, re-branded Trenkwalder Technologies in 2001. In the same year, the subsidiary aimed at personnel services was also established.

Apart from Austria and Slovakia, the Trenkwalder group operates in Germany, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.

The number of its employees is today 11,000. Net turnover should reach €195 million at the end 2003.

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