Björnkläder, operators of the Grolls retail clothing chain, has a new owner in Sweden’s Litorina. Litorina paid €34 million to acquire Björnkläder from Britain’s Davis group after closely watching the company’s financial performance for some time.
Litorina believes Björnkläder’s long history of more than 100 years in the workwear business makes it an attractive investment. The firm plans to continue to support current Björnkläder operations while fueling expansion in the Nordic region.
Björnkläder is Sweden’s leading manufacturer and distributor of workwear and personal safety equipment.
The company was established in 1905 to supply products under the Björnkläder brand name for the Grolls retail operation, which had been in business since 1832. Björnkläder has since taken over Grolls and sells its products through the chain’s 24 Swedish stores, as well as independent retailers in other Nordic countries.
At the end of the 2010 fiscal year Björnkläder reported total earnings of €52 million.
Established in 1998, Litorina is a leading private equity firm in the Nordic region.
Since the firm’s inception it has invested in 32 companies to the tune of SEK 1.6 billion. Their fourth, and latest, fund was established in 2010 with commitments of SEK 2.5 billion.
The firm invests in several different sectors including consumer goods, industrial products, information technology, and business services. Björnkläder prefers to make investments in mid-market companies in which it can gain a majority stake, while allowing the previous owners and management to retain an active minority stake.