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Hägglund wins major arms order

The government of the Netherlands has decided to buy 184 armoured combat vehicles (Stridsfordon 90) from Swedish manufacturer Hägglund for 8 billion crowns. The contract, which can be signed in December, is one of Sweden’s single biggest export transactions in recent years.

The Dutch government will now submit the issue to the parliament for approval.

EU reform hits Swedish landowners

Swedish landowners will lose their right to agricultural subsidies by the turn of the year, according to the new rules in the EU reform package wherein the EU provides funding to those that till land from next year. Only through a specific agreement can landowners save the value of their farms. Half of all agricultural land in Sweden is out on lease and 2 billion crowns are at stake, reported DI.

Tele 2 gives up bid for Song

Tele 2 has withdrawn its bid for Song Networks, clearing the way for rival TDC to take over. By selling its 17 per cent stake in Song to TDC for 95 crowns per share, Tele 2 will generate a capital gain of 175 million crowns.

SCA rival retreats from Europe

Procter & Gamble plans to pull out of the European market for hygiene paper products, a retreat that will hugely benefit Sweden’s SCA, reported DI, citing ‘sources’.

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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