Third generation of Kulczyk family expands its global activities looking into the futureTechnologies & Industry
Originally Published in June 2017
Kulczyk Investments is a private family investment house and the first Polish company to expand into more than 30 countries on four continents. As a long-term investor, headquartered in Luxembourg, KI adds value to all its ventures in strategic sectors such as chemicals, technology, energy and infrastructure. Its strong international position was established under the leadership of Jan Kulczyk, who developed a business empire based on a diverse asset portfolio and international relationships.
Over the years, Kulczyk was active in the implementation of projects with an above average rate of return and built partnerships with major influential businesses. Kulczyk was also responsible for a number of important projects such as creating Poland’s largest automotive group as well as the country’s first private highway that was built six months before the deadline. Additionally, he developed one of the most efficient breweries in the world, started Poland’s first private energy group and was engaged in creating the first GSM telecommunication company in Poland.
After Jan Kulczyk passed away last year, his children Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk took over the responsibility of driving the company. Not only do they want to carry on their father’s interests, they are looking for new businesses. “My ambition is to create a Polish brand that would be recognized worldwide,” said CEO Sebastian Kulczyk. The company has already started implementing this vision by selling its stake in SABMiller, when it was globally taken over by Ab InBev.
Kulczyk Investments was founded by Jan Kulczyk, PhD. in 1991—the only Polish entrepreneur to have operated globally at that time and who played an active role in Poland’s economic transformation.
According to the new strategy, KI will seek medium-size companies in the area of new technologies that are effectively managed, need strong financial support and business know-how. With international reach and experience, KI will effectively support these new partners in global operations.
The company’s new investment portfolio will consist of various types of assets, including companies from the CEE region with high growth potential that can become market leaders. One of these companies is CIECH, the leading chemical group in Europe. KI is a majority shareholder in the company, which is among the 50 largest business organizations in Poland. KI plans to transform the company into one of the world’s most competitive chemical groups. In 2016, CIECH became the first Polish company listed on the Warsaw and Frankfurt stock exchanges at the same time.
KI is also a majority shareholder of Polenergia—Poland’s first privately-owned, public energy group with a regional scope formed as a result of the consolidation of the assets of Polenergia Holding and Polish Energy Partners in 2014. Run by a team of international experts, The Polenergia Group is a leader in the renewable energy market and also operates in the field of energy trading and generation from modern conventional sources.
In the infrastructure sector, KI carries out various projects throughout Poland. It 2012, it initiated the PLN 9 billion A2 project to build Poland’s first private motorway along the Polish-German border, which was the largest concession-based investment project in Poland carried out via public-private partnership.
The company has also been a long-term investor in the exploration and production of oil, natural gas, iron ore and coal. A group of companies carries out over 100 projects in 30 countries on four continents. The rapidly changing geopolitical situation has affected the global economy in recent years, including the plunge in oil and gas market, but the family business’s competitive advantage is its flexible decision-making and ability to respond effectively to those changes.
In the consumer goods sector, KI created Poland’s largest automotive group. It imports and sells Skoda, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Bentley cars. The group has sold more than a million cars over the last 20 years—making it the unquestionable leader of the Polish market. For a dozen years, KI was the largest private investor in the leading brewing group SAB Miller.
KI is also known for its social engagement. Dominika Kulczyk, the chairperson of the supervisory board, oversees the corporate responsibility policies and international relations. As an active philanthropist, she cofounded and is the president of the Kulczyk Foundation, which supports volunteer efforts in developing countries, and is one of the pillars of the family business.