From this financial year, the MD of Mellby Gård Innovation och Tillväxt is Sven Knutsson, who is responsible for the Group’s expansion through acquisitions. Sven is an economist and comes to us from a position as CFO of Boxon in Helsingborg, where he was responsible, among other things, for identifying and analysing attractive companies to acquire. Sven has similar experience from earlier jobs in different sectors of manufacturing industry, including Thule, Cardo and Alfa Laval.
“Since I came in to the picture, we have acquired two companies,” says Sven. “One is Chevalier, headquartered in Gothenburg, which has been designing and selling hunting clothes since 1950. The other is Inplico AB, based in Stockholm, where we have joined up with 22 family firms that together own 84 undertakers across the country. Our aim is to consolidate the sector under the slogan ‘by undertakers – for undertakers’. Since the start of our partnership last spring, Inplico has acquired two more firms with branches in seven locations. And there are a number of new deals in the pipeline,” Knutsson explains.
“We are looking at quite a lot of companies across the board. From up to a hundred companies, we carry out a deeper analysis of maybe 10%, and go forward with perhaps a handful. Of these, we come up with a few companies each year where it is attractive to go the whole way. We have short decision-making paths and quite quickly filter out the ones that do not suit us.
“We do not look at specific industries, but there are some sectors that we avoid – old-age and health care and schools, for example. The energy and pharmaceutical industries are other areas we do not normally go for – particularly as we know that there are other owners who have more to offer than us in these sectors. Otherwise, we cast the net very wide and try, by ourselves and through various contacts, to be as proactive as possible in finding businesses that could be interesting to acquire.
“We expect to incorporate one or more new companies every year. The ideal company for us has revenues of around 200–300 million, with an established business and a functioning organisation,” Knutsson concludes.