Concentration of Sweden’s visible exports

Dagens Industri this week examined the structure of Swedish exports, which have been doing very well in relation to GDP over the past decade. A handful of large multinational groups - including Volvo, Ericsson, SSAB, Boliden, Saab, Scania, Astra Zeneca, Stora, Holmen, SCA, Avesta, LKAB, ABB, Sandvik, Tetra Pak, and Gambro - account for almost 50 per cent of Sweden's visible exports.

Increasingly, though, they are importing parts and then assembling them for re-export. Two-thirds of Swedish exports go to Europe, and only 8-9 per cent to Asia.

Saab demand: longer hours for same pay

Saab at Trollhättan is demanding that its work force work three more hours a week for the same pay along with measure to reduce “sick leave”, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

Cloetta Fazer beaten by private brands

Cloetta Fazer is to close its confectionery factory in Norrköping. The main reason, according to MD Åsa Magnusson, is competition from private brands on the shelves of leading food chains.

Clothes chain refuses to pay for unsold goods

RnB, the owner of Polarn & Pyret, Solo, Champagne and Saks is now refusing to pay its suppliers for garments before they are sold. It is the first retailer in Sweden to adopt such an aggressive and trend-breaking approach (although it is widely used in the USA), which will have serious consequences for the sector.

Benetton drive in Sweden

Benetton plans to expand in Sweden via company-owned and partner-owned stores. It will open its first outlet in Gallerian in Stockholm.

Wallenius Lines to build three more ships

Wallenius Lines plans to invest 3.3 billion crowns in enlarging its fleet of transoceanic car carriers. It believes 2004 will be one of its best years ever, according to MD Christer Olsson. The company has ordered three giant car carriers, each capable of taking 8,000 vehicles.

Electricity prices

The rainy summer has resulted in a sharp fall in electricity prices, both spot and forward, at least on the Nordic electricity exchange Nord Pool.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri


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Corporate deals set to take off in Sweden in 2011: report

Sweden is one of the hottest markets in the Nordic region for corporate mergers and acquisitions, according to a new report.

Eight out of ten managers at large Nordic companies surveyed by business consultancy KPMG expected the M&A market in Sweden to grow in 2011.

Corporate deal growth in Sweden’s neighbours Denmark, Norway, and Finland, meanwhile, was only predicted by about 60 percent of the survey’s respondents.

The results of the survey are published as part of an annual review of M&A activity published by KPMG entitled Competing for growth 2011.

“We see that both venture capital firms and industrial firms are well positioned for even more business in 2011,” Christopher Fägerskiöld, head of M&A advising for KPMG Sweden, said in a statement.

According to Fägerskiöld, venture capital firms have had a difficult time selling their holdings during the financial crisis, leading to a pent up need to sell.

“At the same time, they need to show they can make acquisitions, not least those who plan on taking in money for new funds,” he said.

Last year, there were 158 deals in which companies from outside the Nordics bought a Nordic company, an increase of 48 percent.

“The most notable example was that Volvo Cars was sold to Chinese Geely,” said Fägerskiöld.

“It’s the first time that a privately owned Chinese company has bought a large and well-known western European company. It may very well pave the way for similar acquisitions.”

Respondents to the survey singled out China as the non-Nordic country that will likely carry out the most deals in the Nordic region in 2011, followed by Germany and the United States.

“We see a large interest from Swedish industrial companies to strengthen their position in Asia by acquisitions or cooperation with local companies,” said Fägerskiöld.

Many companies feel pressure to act so that the competition doesn’t get to China first.”