JF Hillebrand has strengthened its capability to provide dedicated wine and beverage logistics services in Sweden with the acquisition of Stockholm-based Lagena Distribution AB, the distributor of alcoholic beverages in Sweden. Since its formation in 1994, Lagena Distribution AB has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Systembolaget AB, the Swedish Alcohol Retail Monopoly. In April 2010, Systembolaget's Board took the decision to sell Lagena Distribution, as part of an effort to increase the focus on core operations.
"Lagena is an important strategic acquisition for our expansion in the Nordic countries," said Grard Desbois, CEO JF Hillebrand Group. "The sales process has taken just under six months and attracted the attention of numerous potential purchasers, so naturally we are delighted to have reached an agreement."
"We believe that JF Hillebrand is the ideal future owner of Lagena Distribution," said Anders Sderlund, Vice President of Systembolaget AB. "It is a very exciting development thanks to JF Hillebrand's long-term plans for operations, combined with their extensive expertise in integrated beverage logistics."
The acquisition underpins JF Hillebrand's market-leading position in Sweden and across the Nordic and Baltic countries, which are seen as an evolving beverage market with high potential for growth and development.
"The acquisition presents both companies with a unique opportunity to further enhance levels of specialist service in Sweden," said Soren Nymann, JF Hillebrand's Area Manager for Northern Europe. "The combination of Lagena Distribution's local logistics expertise, alongside JF Hillebrand's global forwarding network, means we are now perfectly positioned to serve the needs of our customers with two Swedish companies."
Lagena Distribution will keep its current brand and management team and will continue to focus on warehousing and distribution in Sweden. JF Hillebrand Sverige AB will focus on the existing freight forwarding business in Sweden.
"We are truly delighted to welcome Lagena to the JF Hillebrand Group," said Pierre Bonel, JF Hillebrand's Global Sales and Marketing Director. "The combined expertise and organisational skills of both companies will enable us to enhance our own service offering, and in so doing, capitalise on growth opportunities in the global market for beverage logistics. The addition of Lagena Distribution's know-how and expertise is strategically important to our organisation."
"We very much welcome this acquisition, which we see as both an interesting development opportunity and an excellent fit between the business models. The new owner has been very well received by the management team and all staff, and we believe that we have a bright future ahead of us," said Per hagen, Managing Director of Lagena Distribution.