KIRKBI, the holding and investment company of the Kirk Kristiansen family, has signed an agreement to acquire KKR’s 49.8% stake in Valinge, a Swedish industrial R&D company, alongside the founding Pervan family that via Pervanovo Invest AB will maintain its majority ownership of 50.2%.
Based in Viken, Sweden, Valinge draws its roots from the deep Swedish knowledge and expertise in wood engineering and technology.
where it has a state-of-the-art research facility, which employs more than 130 highly specialised employees and researchers. In the last 12 months, high-tech large-scale production lines have been installed in Viken with a capacity of 7 million m2 of floors with Woodura® and Nadura®-top surface to accelerate the adoption of powder based floors.
Darko Pervan, CEO of Pervanovo Invest AB and founder of Valinge, commented:
“I would like to thank KKR for the support they have provided us, which allowed us to unlock investments behind new technologies. In the past months, several investors have shown great interest in acquiring KKR’s stake but KIRKBI was our preferred choice since they are a family-owned longer term investor with an excellent reputation. KIRKBI has extensive expertise in industrial operations, brand building and marketing and is the perfect partner for our new flooring business. This partnership will create a long-term foundation for the company to take the next step in its development of large scale production and marketing of powder based Woodura and Nadura floors.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Thomas Lau Schleicher, Chief Investment Officer at KIRKBI, said: “We are very satisfied to be a part of the ongoing journey for Valinge. The company has demonstrated a strong ability to create value through the floor locking IP developed for its customers and partners in the flooring industry. But most importantly, Valinge’s transformation from a technology-based to a more industrial company across many categories of surface technology will provide new, attractive revenue streams – while at the same time contributing to a more sustainable environmental impact. Looking ahead, we believe that KIRKBI through its entrepreneurial and industrial mindset is well suited to support the international commercialization of Valinge’s technology and products – and the manufacturing and supply chain build-up required. Finally, the investment complements the KIRKBI Long-Term Equity portfolio, and underpins our strategy to be a significant European investor.”
Niclas Håkansson, the Valinge CEO added: “We are very excited about the new ownership cooperation, which will help us continue the development and global roll-out of new technologies and ultimately benefit our customers and end-users. Today numerous licensees are keen to commercialize our powder based floors, which we plan to support in two steps. First Välinge will supply flooring products to licensees and in a second step Välinge will license out the technology which is needed to build large scale powder based factories. We look forward to continuing this development together with KIRKBI as co-owners.”
Anders Borg, Managing Director and Head of the Nordic Region at KKR, concluded: “KKR has an extensive track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and family-owned companies in Europe to deliver growth, international expansion, and value creation. We are very pleased with our investment in Valinge and the fruitful and pleasant cooperation with the management and the Pervan family. The company has developed at a greater pace than anticipated and within less than two years, our longer-term value targets have been realized. We wish Valinge, the Pervan family and KIRKBI continued success and we will follow the significant investment plans to expand powder based flooring production with great interest.”