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Persson eyes closer ties with Finland

Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson yesterday said he would like to strengthen co-operation with Finland in order to accelerate growth in northern Sweden. Persson, along with Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, were in Haparanda for consultations with business leaders and politicians in the region.

Sharp upswing in recruitment of managers

The recruitment of top executives has risen again following a period of slump. Many speak of an upswing of 20 to 30 percent in executive headhunting. One of the latest recruits is Göran Bille, who will take over as CEO of garments and underwear clothing chain Lindex next week.

Suspected corporate spy detained

A foreigner has been taken into police custody on charges of corporate espionage. According to prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand, the man was arrested in southern Sweden last Friday. The crime of espionage was reportedly committed from autumn of 2002 until last summer.

Tabloids hit forestry industry

An increasing number of broadsheet newspapers, the latest of which is Dagens Nyheter, are switching to the tabloid format – which means less paper is used. But in the longer term, paper producers in the forest products sector hope that the daily press will consume more paper in their publications.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri

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CHINA

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.”

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