Kjell Åkesson will take over as the new president and CEO of Ratos's associated company Lindab at year-end 2002. Kjell Åkesson, who currently is the CEO of Bilia, will succeed Carl-Gustaf Sondén who after 35 years with Lindab will continue to work with the company as a member of the board.
Kjell Åkesson has many years' experience of industrial operations, including eight years in Svedala's group management during the 1990s as well as 15 years in a number of positions within the ASEA/ABB group. As CEO for Bilia, Kjell Åkesson has implemented a number of change projects which have helped to improve the company's profitability in a weak market.
"Lindab's owners have given me a clear assignment - to develop a fast growing and profitable Lindab. To achieve this I will greatly benefit from Lindab's strong corporate culture and popular brands."
Lindab is a leading manufacturer of building materials made of thin sheet-metal. Operations are divided into two business areas: Ventilation and Profile. A buyout of Lindab from the stock exchange was effected in 2000 by an investor consortium headed by the private equity company Ratos as well as the Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund and Skandia Liv. Today, Lindab's goal is to achieve international growth within its two business areas.
"I see taking the step to a manufacturing company with extensive international production and sales as a challenge. Lindab's growth strategy in Eastern Europe and the US will require us to continue, in the traditional Lindab way, to work close to the market and continuously develop our product range."
In 2001, Lindab's sales totalled SEK 5,160m and the pre-tax profit was SEK 233m. The company had 3,635 employees. Production is carried out in 21 countries. Approximately 70% of sales go to countries outside Sweden. In particular, Lindab has been highly successful in the fast-growing Eastern and Central European markets over the past year.
The change in management which is now taking place was planned at the time of the buyout of Lindab from the stock exchange. Carl-Gustaf Sondén and deputy CEO Hans Schmidt-Hansen, who has also decided to resign in autumn 2002, have actively contributed to the strategic work which has been carried out in the company in the past year. Both will continue to act in the company as co-investors and members of the board.
"The fact that Lindab's former management duo have made such an active contribution in the past year guarantees that the strong Lindab culture will be preserved while a firm platform has been laid for Kjell Åkesson who now faces an exciting task," says Mats Lönnqvist, Senior Investment Manager and member of Lindab's board, commenting on today's news.
For further information, please contact;
Kjell Åkesson, CEO Bilia, 031 709 55 01, 070 850 55 67
Carl-Gustaf Sondén, CEO Lindab, 0431 85 000
Mats Lönnqvist, Senior Investment Manager, Ratos, 08 700 17 00