Electrolux to be split up

Electrolux is to spin off its Outdoor Products business, leaving it with White Goods and Vacuum-cleaners. It is also launching a cost-cutting programme that could affect production in Sweden. There is a risk that factories in Motala, Mariestad, and Torsvik could be closed down, and possibly also some in the USA and Australia.

This will be the final dismantling of the global white goods giant built up during the seventies and eighties. Getinge, Autoliv, Ballingslöv and Dometic have all been divested since Electrolux’s heyday.

The spin-off will probably be under the Husqvarna name, and then floated on the stock market. The company is a world leader in lawnmowers and chainsaws with an annual turnover of SKr 27 billion.

GE into the Nordic region

General Electric expects to make more acquisitions on the Nordic market, according to Nani Beccali-Falco, number two at the world’s largest listed company. GE already has 4,800 employees in its Nordic health products business alone. Its largest business is GE Capital, which had a turnover of SKr 1,100 billion last year.

Nordea’s fish farm in trouble

Norwegian fish farming company PanFish, whose largest shareholder is Nordea, is still making heavy losses and looking for an injection of more capital. Nordea has lost billions on its lending to the Norwegian fish farming industry in recent years, with PanFish one of the major sources of loss. Nordea owns 45 % of PanFish, which lost NKr 232 million last year.

Metro loss – NY to blame

Free morning newspaper Metro’s sales rose by almost 49 per cent last year to just over SKr 2.1 billion. The result was pulled down by the large number of new launches, including papers in Lisbon, Rotterdam and especially New York. The result after financial net was a loss of SKr 93 million. Turnover in Sweden rose by 72 per cent to SKr 650 million.

Poor January for H&M

H&M’s sales in January rose by 5%, a very low figure by H&M’s standards. It was due to calendaric effects, according to the company, including one less Sunday than in January 2004, and the fact that New Year’s Day fell on a Saturday, which means a whole day of lost business.

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.”