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CORPORATE

Gunnebo under pressure from steel prices and dollar

Security company Gunnebo’s figures for 2004 came out at the lower end of market expectations. The profit for 2004 amounted to 225 million crowns. The weak dollar and high steel prices pulled down the result, as did structuring charges taken in the fourth quarter.

Carnegie profits from stock market boom

Carnegie’s result was boosted by a strong stock market last autumn. Its share price rose by 9 per cent when its fourth quarter profit of 188 million crowns was announced.

SAS company in dock

Jet Blue, an American airline, has accused SAS’s Finnish subsidiary, Blue 1, of violating its brand name rights. Blue 1’s logotype and blue colour look like copies of Jet Blue’s. Blue 1 changed it name from Air Botnia about a year ago.

Gothia Towers rises above the crowd

The Gothia Towers Hotel in Gothenburg, which is owned by the Swedish Trade Fair Foundation, increased its occupancy ratio to 64 per cent last on a market that fell by two points to 63 per cent. It accounted for 11.5 per cent of all room-nights in Gothenburg last year.

New reversal for Axfood

PrisXtra has changed food supplier away from Axfood’s Dagab to Bergendahlsgruppen. Vivo Stockholm also switched from Dagab to Bergendahls last autumn.

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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