High acquisition rate

The group’s acquisition rate continued to be high in 2021, with a total of 15 acquisitions. ­During the year, Fredrik Eklund was ­appointed Director of Strategy and M&A, ­taking lead on the strategic ­direction as well as supporting the business groups.

Fredrik Eklund, Director of Strategy and M&A, supports the business groups in acquisitions and strategic matters.

How would you sum up 2021?
“It was a successful year for the group and we made a total of 15 acquisitions, pertaining to both new companies and additional acquisitions in existing companies. A great joint effort from all our business groups. We also entered new markets, such as the rental lifting market, and expanded our geographical footprint in Australia and New Zealand in both Lifting Solutions and Fluid Handling Solutions, to name a few.

We’re looking to become even more solution oriented and build on the ­know how of our companies to ­create value for our customers.

Any new focus areas this year?
“As part of Axel Johnson International’s strategy to build business groups in strategic niche markets, we established a new business group in ­Industrial Automation. We will continue to build on that as we see so much potential for further expansion in this segment. Especially interesting are niche product or ­solutions providers in the food ­processing and packaging industries.”

What are the overall ­market trends?
“A challenge for all businesses in the industry is the current labour shortage. Other general industry trends are the potential reshoring of Asian production capacity to Europe and a structured increase of industrial automation, which I believe will ­eventually have a positive effect on all our business groups in terms of business opportunities.”

What do you see as important ­strategic focus areas?
“As the industry, and the whole world, is currently fast-changing, we need to keep evaluating new business models and adapt to the ever-­changing consumer behaviour. We’re looking to become even more solution oriented and build on the ­know how of our companies to ­create value for our customers. We have great momentum right now and I am positive that we will continue on this journey, and find and acquire new successful ­companies in 2022.”

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