26 investments in new companies in 2021
The foundation of Axel Johnson’s movement toward the 10/50 target is organic transformation in our existing companies.
But acquisitions and investments in new operations are also important tools for creating growth in new areas and strengthening our existing companies’ positions.
DURING THE YEAR, Axel Johnson strengthened its presence in relatively new industries such as solar energy and health. But the heaviest investments were made in our Group companies, in areas adjacent to our own business. Again, Axel Johnson International was the Group company that acquired the most actively, with a total of 15 new companies in 2021. But the two really big acquisitions were made by Axfood and Dustin, which helped make 2021 one of the most businessintensive in Axel Johnson’s history.
Dustin gains a second home market
THROUGH THE ACQUISITION of the Dutch company Centralpoint, with a turnover of around SEK 7 billion, Dustin becomes a leading player not only in the Nordic region but also in the Benelux region. In 2022, Centralpoint will switch to the Dustin brand and as in the Nordic operations, the goal is to provide a leading hardware and software offering in combination with service sales. The combined business will be one of the 7-8 largest in Europe.
ON OCTOBER 1, Axfood completed the acquisition of the wholesale business Bergendahls Food and a minority stake in City Gross, which is part of a strategic partnership. The acquisition creates economies of scale and synergies, which also benefit consumers through increased efficiency as well as product range and logistics improvements. In connection with the transaction, Axfood also became the owner of 9.9 percent of City Gross, with an option to increase ownership to 30 percent.
Mat.se -> Mathem
TOWARD THE END of the year, Axfood announced another significant deal. Axfood entered into an agreement to divest its e-commerce provider Mat. se in return for shares in Mathem. When the transaction is completed, Axfood will be the second largest owner in Mathem, with 16.5 percent of the shares.
DENTAL CARE AND FITNESS BOOST NOVAX HEALTH PROFILE
IN JANUARY, Novax became a major player in the Aqua Dental dental care chain. The goal is to create Sweden’s leading private dental care chain with a focus on quality and patient care. During the first quarter, STC acquired industry peer Puls & Träning. This makes STC Sweden’s second largest fitness chain in terms of number of facilities. Through the acquisition, STC gained a large presence in the Stockholm area, where it had previously been lacking.
Solar cells for indoor use and large-scale parks
IN 2021, AxSol invested in two new businesses. Epishine has a pioneering patented process for printing organic solar cells. The printed flexible solar cells can be used in real estate properties – in, for example, wireless sensors, electronic locks and smoke alarms. But over time, there are great opportunities for Epishine to grow in many areas of use where limited indoor power supply is required. Not least, there are great opportunities to take advantage of the growth of the “Internet of Things” and the rapidly increasing number of connected devices in real estate and households. The second investment was made in Energi- Engagemang, where Axel Johnson has been majority owner since the summer of 2021. The company is one of Swedish solar energy’s market- and knowledge-leading players, with a focus on the corporate market. Large-scale solar parks, an area where EnergiEngagemang is active, has until recently been a limited phenomenon in Sweden, but is the segment of the solar energy market that is expected to grow fastest.