For Wichard, in the beginning there was the knive: Established in 1919, the firm specialises in the hot forging of metal and for its first two decades, it focused on cutlery. Diversification started in the 1940s with forging parts for the automotive and bicycle industries, followed by marine hardware and medical products, e. g. surgical implants. With a strong R&D effort for a company of its size and precision forging capabilities applied to a wide range of metals, Wichard today is an innovative provider of high-quality metal parts to a broad range of markets. Marine hardware, particularly equipment for sailing boats, has become the firm’s strong point.
Halder and French investor Finadvance acquired the company by way of an MBI when the previous owner planned to retire. While primarily focused on organic growth, management subsequently made add-on acquisitions: sail equipment specialist Profurl was taken over in 2002 to enhance the marine product range. Simond, an international brand name in mountaineering equipment, was acquired in 2003 to strengthen Wichard’s role as a manufacturer of safety-related forged products for the leisure industry as well as for synergies in purchasing, production and marketing.
In 2008, Halder exited the investment by selling the shares to a financial investor.