Sony Ericsson launches new phones

Sony Ericsson this week launched the Z800, an upgraded version of the V800 business phone previously only available to Vodafone customers, and the K600 3G phone, with video telephony and a 1.3 MP camera.

Jan Wäreby, deputy chief executive of Sony Ericsson, believes that 3G phones will account for more than 25 per cent of sales in Western Europe by the end of the year.

SSAB most profitable steel producer in Europe

SSAB posted a pre-tax profit of SKr 4.8 billion for 2004, up from SKr 1.3 billion in 2003. Turnover rose by 24 per cent to SKr 24.6 billion and with a 25 per cent return on equity, SSAB is now Europe’s most profitable steel producer.

Colleagues back Holmen CEO

Colleagues in heavy industry back Holmen CEO Magnus Hall following his comments in DI on Monday that the government does not take the energy issue seriously (see SPR February 14, Early).

“There is a genuine concern within industry over how we will cope in the future,” says Jan Johansson, Boliden’s chief executive, while Lars Bleck, chief executive of pulp producer Rottneros, does not rule out the possibility of transferring investment abroad.

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.”