Haendig to acquire Westerbergs Badrum


Haendig is acquiring the bathroom company Westerbergs Badrum AB through its subsidiary Hafa. Hafa, one of the fastest-growing players in bathroom furnishings in the Nordic region, will acquire a strong position in the whirlpool bath segment through Westerbergs. Together the companies will become the largest Nordic player in their niche with estimated annual sales of SEK 450 million.
Haendig's CEO Thomas Holmgren comments: "Haendig has a stated strategy to further consolidate its position with strong own brands within the DIY sector. In recent years Hafa has built up a strong position and achieved excellent growth. This acquisition will make Hafa/Westerbergs the Nordic leader within bathroom furnishings."
Hafa, which develops and markets a broad range of bathroom furniture, showers, steamers, sanitary ware, lighting and accessories, had total sales of approximately SEK180m in 2004. Over the last five years, Hafa's product range has been broadened while a consistent focus on design and brand-building has been maintained. By combining this with good support to retailers in the Nordic region, Hafa has therefore been able to achieve annual growth of over 17%.
Ola Andrée, CEO of Hafa, comments: "By combining Hafa's strong position in the DIY trade with Westerberg's established position among water, heating and sanitation players, we see excellent opportunities for additional sales. The product ranges of the two companies also complement each other perfectly."
Westerbergs, with annual sales of approximately SEK 190m, is the Nordic market leader within whirlpool baths and steamers which account for about 75% of the company's sales. The company's products are manufactured outside Sweden while assembly is carried out at the company's plant in Västergötland.
Both Westerbergs' former part-owners, CEO Anders Borg and Per-Olof Alexandersson, comment: "Merging with Hafa will place Westerbergs in a larger context which will greatly benefit the company's long-term development opportunities."
The Haendig Group has been a Ratos holding since 2001. During this ownership period the group's pre-tax profit has risen from SEK 14m to SEK 44m in 2004, primarily due to improved margins.
Stig Karlsson, Senior Investment Manager responsible for Haendig at Ratos "Haendig is expanding within the DIY sector in an impressive manner. The success of Hafa in particular illustrates how successful the group's strategy has been."
Haendig is an active owner of companies which market strong brands to the DIY sector in the Nordic countries. The company's 2004 sales totalled approximately SEK 1,250m. The deal is subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities.
For additional information, please contact:
Stig Karlsson, Senior Investment Manager Ratos, +46 8 700 17 00
Anna-Karin Celsing, Head of Corporate Communications Ratos, +46 8 700 17 00
Thomas Holmgren, CEO Haendig, +46 705 736 700
Financial calendar from Ratos:
Interim report January-June 2005                       24 August 2005
Interim report January-September 2005              11 November 2005