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Comber was founded in 1960 and is situated in Carugate, near Milan. It is a leading supplier of batch equipment for solids-liquid separation and vacuum drying. Its products are used in the production of pharmaceutical ingredients, fine chemicals, dyes and food additives. With detailed know-how in the art of solids-liquids separation for the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industry, it is one of the top five suppliers in its sector with a large customer base and focus on after sales and service.

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Like many family-owned companies Comber ran into succession challenges. At Comber’s request Stibbe Participaties stepped in and acquired the company. Afterwards, the Stibbe investment team implemented new systems for financial controlling and management reporting and improved production processes together with management. The team placed more focus on engineering, assembly and service and developed a very effective supply chain in Italy.


Installed Base Management was given a new dimension and an add-on acquisition in 2013 gave a new boost to Comber’s after sales and service strategy. Management also developed a 3D engineering design center in Mumbai to increase its engineering capacity. And last but not least, Stibbe Participaties worked hard to integrate the different management cultures between the sister companies of the HEINKEL Drying and Separation Group in Italy, Germany and The Netherlands.

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