Leaders and major groups based in the Basque Country

Thanks to its strategic location, natural environment and skilled workforce, the Basque Country has been attracting major global industrial groups for decades. From aeronautics, industrial production and textiles to robotics, mechatronics, composites, healthcare and boardsports, the Basque Country has evolved into a benchmark region over the years, becoming home to some of the world’s leading companies.

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The basque country's largest industrial production companies

  • According to a study by the Bayonne CCI (Chamber of Commerce and Industry), 9% of jobs in the Basque Country are generated by industrial activity (13,519 jobs out of a total of 150,212 jobs in the area). This makes it the Basque Country’s third-largest business sector. The region’s infrastructure, including the port of Bayonne, motorway, rail and airport networks, makes it a prime location for industrial production companies. 

From major international groups to locally founded companies, here are some of the region’s leading industrial companies:

  • Epta France. Market leader in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment for the retail and industrial sectors, Epta designs, manufactures, markets and installs refrigerated units in retail outlets of all sizes. Based in Hendaye, the company has set up a research and development center and has an ultra-automated production facility.

→ Key figures: 560 employees // Annual sales of 277 million euros in 2021

  • Quiksilve Part of the Boardriders group, Quiksilver has established its European headquarters in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Owning leading textile brands in the surfing industry, Boardriders chose the Basque Country, a region historically anchored in the board sports industry, as the location for its headquarters.

→ Key figures: 600 employees // Annual sales of 254 million euros in 2021

  • Tribord. A Decathlon Group brand dedicated to water sports, Tribord has set up a large research and development center in Hendaye, close to its users and with the resources to test their products in real-life conditions. Thanks to its team of product managers, designers, prototype manufacturers, engineers, hundreds of products are conceived, developed and tested in the Basque Country.

→ Key figures: Annual sales of 1.5 billion euros in 2021

  • Groupe Lauak. Based in Hasparren since 1975, Groupe Lauak is a leading manufacturer of spare parts for the aerospace, medical, electronics and naval industries. It is a long-standing partner and supplier of Dassault

→ Key figures: 1100 employees in Europe // Annual sales of 120 million euros in 2021

  • Celsa France. Formerly Aciérie de l’Atlantique, Celsa France is a subsidiary of the Spanish Celsa group, and has been based in Bayonne (Boucau) since the 1990s. Specializing in the production of steel billets, its location on the port of Bayonne offers a strategic position for importing and/or exporting raw materials and sold products.

→ Key figures: 201 employees // Annual sales of 496 million euros in 2021

  • BMS Circuits. Specializing in the manufacture of assembled electronic boards, BMS Circuits is based in Mouguerre and aims to redistribute its products in the local Basque Country market as much as possible. For example, the company collaborated with Lunii (“the story box”) in 2020 to produce their components locally.

→ Key figures: 237 employees // Annual sales of 110 million euros in 2021

 

Key companies in the aerospace, mechatronics and composites industry in the basque country

The Basque Country is a major region for the aeronautics, mechatronics and composites industry, thanks to the location of renowned companies such as:

  • Safran Helicopters. Specialized in the design, production, sale and maintenance of small and medium-power gas turbines for helicopters. It is the leading engine manufacturer on the international market.

→ Key figures: 1,500 employees in Tarnos // Annual sales of 1.3 billion euros in 2021

  • Dassault Aviation. The Biarritz site, established in the 1970s, specializes in the production of complex aeronautical structures and composite parts for civil and military aircraft (Falcon, Rafale, Mirage, etc.).

→ Key figures: 900 employees // Annual sales of 6.4 billion euros in 2021

The biggest healthcare and medical equipement companies in the basque country

The health and medical equipment sector is one of the largest jobs and skills pools in the Basque Country. Some of the major companies in this sector include:

  • Based in Bidart, the company produces and markets medical devices and flexible bags for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Market leader in Europe, Technoflex generates the vast majority of its sales through exports, particularly to the United States.

→ Key figures: 284 employees // Annual sales of 37 million euros

  • Braun. A German group present in 64 countries, B.Braun has set up its industrial production site on the Basque coast, in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, specializing in the design of products for enterostomy, postoperative drainage and urostomy. With 7 production sites in France, B.Braun is the leading medical technology employer in the country.

→ Key figures: 2,000 employees in France // Annual sales of 368 million euros in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in 2021

  • DJO Global (Enovis France). A leading American manufacturer and distributor of rehabilitation and recovery products (orthopedic and vascular), DJO Global has set up its French headquarters in Mouguerre and is one of the big names in the Basque Country’s healthcare economy.

→ Key figures: Over 200 employees // Annual sales of 127 million euros by 2021

  • Sophia Genetics. World leader in medical data. Established in the Basque Country in 2018, this Swiss startup is highly innovative and has ambitious development goals to meet strong demand from the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare institutions.

→ Key figures: More than 500 employees worldwide // Annual sales of 47 million US dollars in 2022

 

Every year, world-renowned companies decide to invest in France by locating their businesses in the Basque Country. Relocating and setting up your company here offers significant advantages for both its development and the wellbeing of your employees. BASQUE INVEST can help you work out your location strategy. Contact us today to learn more.

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