2020-12-11 - Hultafors group

Hultafors Group acquires Fristads, Kansas and Leijona

Hultafors Group acquires Fristads, Kansas and Leijona to create a market leading brand and service offering in Europe.

Hultafors Group today announces that an agreement has been signed to acquire Fristads, Kansas and Leijona from Fristads Kansas Group. The acquisition, which is subject to approval from relevant competition authorities, is part of Hultafors Group’s strategy to further grow and develop leading brands in the Personal Protection Equipment area in Europe and North America.

Fristads, Kansas and Leijona are well-known brands in professional workwear for a variety of end-users and have considerable footholds in their respective key markets Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Consolidated net sales is expected to amount to c:a 120 MEUR in 2020 and the companies together have more than 600 employees.

The companies are focused on different markets and complement each other both geographically and in terms of product and service offer. Together, the companies will have access to leading expertise and will be able to continue to drive product innovation and sustainability.

“Hultafors Group’s acquisition of Fristads, Kansas and Leijona is aimed to drive customer value and we are very excited about the opportunities this combination creates. The acquired brands will continue to operate separately, and it is our intention to further develop them with innovation and sustainability as guiding stars. In the long term we see opportunities from this combination to further strengthen our value proposition through synergies, primarily in logistics and warehouse management as well as in the supply chain. By joining forces, we will be able to create a broader portfolio of competitive brands and we aim to provide the best service offering to our customers”, says Camilla Monefeldt Kirstein, EVP Business Unit Workwear at Hultafors Group.

The market for Personal Protection Equipment is today characterized by a changing and consolidating customer landscape and a shift towards digitalization and e-commerce. At the same, the competitor landscape is fragmented. This creates opportunity to drive operational excellence, enabled by competent employees that can create the best end-user solutions and customer offer.

The acquisition of Fristads, Kansas and Leijona is part of Hultafors Group's strategy to grow and develop leading brands in the Personal Protection Equipment segment in Europe and North America. Following a number of successful acquisitions, the brand portfolio today consists of several well-knows brands such as Snickers Workwear, EMMA Safety Footwear and Hellberg Safety. With the support of Hultafors Group's strong owner Latour, Fristads, Kansas and Leijona will be part of a broad brand portfolio of products and solutions that make the workday safer, easier and more productive for professional users.

“Fristads Kansas Group has in recent years made considerable improvements with several important investments in product assortment, marketing and logistics/warehouse management. We are very proud of what we have achieved, and of the great efforts of all employees. We are now taking the next step to give all brands in our portfolio the best possible conditions to evolve. Hultafors Group has an impressive growth strategy and ability to develop well-known brands in workwear. We are convinced that Hultafors Group will be an excellent new home for Fristads, Kansas and Leijona, opening up many opportunities for both our customers and employees”, says Anders Davidsson, CEO at Fristads Kansas Group.

Fristads, Kansas and Leijona will continue to operate as a separate stand-alone unit under the leadership of Anders Hülse, CEO of Fristads, within Business Unit Workwear at Hultafors Group.

The transaction closing is expected in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary competition approval.

For further information or questions, please contact:

Camilla Monefeldt Kirstein

Executive Vice President Business Unit Workwear Hultafors Group

+46 734 33 36 34

Jens Eriksson

Vice President M&A and Business Development, Hultafors Group

+46 702 114 601

About Hultafors Group

Hultafors Group is one of Europe’s largest companies to supply workwear, footwear, head protection, hand tools and ladders for professional users. The products are developed, manufactured and marketed as their own brands, which are available through leading distributors in about 40 markets, with emphasis on Europe and North America. Hultafors Group has more than 1,000 employees and net sales in 2019 amounted to SEK 2.9 billion.

About Fristads, Kansas, Leijona

Fristads, Kansas and Leijona are leading brands in workwear for building & construction, industry and service in their respective home markets Sweden, Denmark and Finland. In addition, they have extensive export sales in Europe and own production in Eastern Europe. The combined annual sales of the brands amount to c:a EUR 120 million. The workwear from Fristads, Kansas and Leijona is developed with a focus on innovation and sustainability, it is functional, durable and well adapted to its users.

About Fristads Kansas Group

Fristads Kansas Group is a large professional wear group in Europe with many leading brands including Wenaas, Clinic Dress, Sverre W Monsen, Martinson and Hejco, B&C as well as Fristads, Kansas, Leijona. The Group is active in the design, production and marketing of professional wear for a variety of end-use segments and has strong market positions, especially in Northern Europe.

2020-12-11 - Hultafors group