Scandinavian building materials player moves into Baltic states:
Saint-Gobain Distribution Nordic acquired Famar-Desi
Saint-Gobain Distribution Nordic AB(Saint Gobain DN), has acquired the Estonian building materials chain, Famar-Desi AS, with14 stores in Estonia and Latvian companys Famar-Desi SIA with two stores in Latvia and Famar-Desi Invest SIA. Through Optimera Gruppen AS Saint-Gobain DN already has strong positions in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and this acquisition is an important element in the company’s strategy for Nordic and Baltic growth.
Famar-Desi’s owner, Famar-Desi Grupp AS, has concluded an agreement with Saint-Gobain DN for the sale of shares of Famar-Desi AS, Famar-Desi SIA and Famar-Desi Invest SIA with effect from 1 April 2008.
Famar-Desi will continue its operations as part of Optimera Gruppen, under the new business-name Optimera Estonia AS. Brand name Ehituse ABC will be maintained. The company will be headed by Mr Dmitri Drajev as CEO and Anton Kutser as CFO. Optimera Estonia will also be responsible for Optimera’s activities in the Latvian market, under the legal name Optimera Latvia SIA, headed by Mr Marko Soots as CEO. The brand name Būvniecības ABC will be maintained. The acquired businesses had a 2006 turnover of EEK 1.7 billion and have a total of 700 employees.
Optimera Gruppen is owned by Saint-Gobain and forms part of Saint-Gobain DN. It has a clear ambition to expand in the Nordic region, and Saint-Gobain is making an active contribution to realising these growth plans. The company has developed into a leading player in the Norwegian building materials market, where operations today embrace 90 stores and 10 professional centres. In Sweden, Optimera has 26 stores and two centres for the professional trade. The company recently entered the Danish market with the acquisition of DLH’s building products division. This business, which has 19 retail outlets, 550 employees and a total annual turnover of roughly DKK 2 billion, ranks as Denmark’s third largest player in the building materials market. The group employs a total of approximately 3 000 people. “Following our recent entry into Denmark, this represents a new and important milestone in our joint strategy for Nordic growth,” says Kåre Malo, chief executive of Saint-Gobain DN and chair of Optimera Group.
“We must have good steerage way on our existing business before entering new markets, and that’s what we’ve now got. After working purposefully on development and growth in our Norwegian and Swedish building materials businesses, we feel we’re well prepared to make a broader commitment to the Nordic market. We share Optimera’s ambitions, and that makes such a commitment possible both strategically and financially.”
“We’ve followed developments in Famar-Desi with interest over a period,” notes Harald Tyrdal, chief executive of Optimera Gruppen.
“Famar-Desi harmonises well with our focus on the professional market, and this acquisition will represent an excellent base for a future commitment to the Baltic states. Optimera Estonia and Optimera Latvia will be an important player on our team.”
Optimera Gruppen AS has an ambition to become a leading supplier of building materials in the Nordic region and the Baltic states. Established in 2001, the group is already well established in Norway and Sweden. It embraces the Montér, Optimera Professional, Optimera Sweden, Optimera Wholesale and Optimera Industry business areas as well as Optimera Land Development and Optimera Production. The group is now also extending its activity into Denmark through the acquisition of DLH’s building materials division, which ranks as the third largest player in this sector of the Danish economy. In addition, negotiations are under way on an acquisition of Famar-Desi, the leading building materials player in Estonia.
With its head office in Oslo, Optimera Gruppen employs some approx. 3 000 people in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Annual turnover reached around 1,2 bill. EUR in 2007 (including recently acquired operations in Denmark). The group is wholly owned by Saint-Gobain of France and forms part of Saint-Gobain Distribution Nordic.
In Norway, Optimera has a strong position through Montér and Optimera Professional. It occupies a leading position in the eastern, southern and western parts of the country. This business embraces a total of 90 building materials stores, and Montér currently ranks as the fastest-growing chain in Norway. Optimera Professional also has 10 professional centres, while Optimera Wholesale is Norway’s largest building materials wholesaler and Optimera Industry is a leading supplier to the woodworking sector. Optimera employs some 1 600 people in Norway, and the turnover in 2007 was about NOK 5.5 billion.
In Sweden, Optimera occupies a strong market position in the south of the country. Growth has been substantial in 2006 and 2007, with the acquisition of 17 building materials stores. Optimera Sweden currently comprises 26 stores and two professional centres – all branded as Optimera. The company has some 650 employees and had a 2007 turnover of SEK 2 billion.
In Denmark, Optimera obtained a strong position through the recent acquisition of DLH’s building materials division. This business comprises DLH Træ & Byg AS and Holten Lange AS with 10 building materials stores, eight professional outlets and a distribution centre. The 18 sales outlets are marketed under the XL-Bygg - Horneman brand. With 550 employees, the business has an annual turnover of roughly DKK 2 billion.
Saint-Gobain was established in 1665 and ranks as one of Europe’s largest industrial groups, with over 200 000 employees in more than 50 countries. The business primarily embraces the production and distribution of building materials as well as the manufacture of glass and special products. With a 2006 turnover of NOK 330 billion, Saint-Gobain is Europe’s largest distributor of building products. These account for about 40 per cent of its total sales.
Optimera Gruppen is part of Saint-Gobain Distribution Nordic, which also embraces sanitary ware wholesaler Dahl with operations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Poland.
Oslo, 09 April 2008