KIRKBI To Acquire a Significant Minority Stake in Välinge Group From KKR
The partnership with KIRKBI aims to further strengthen Välinge's position as a leading industrial R&D company and flooring producer.
Välinge draws its roots from the deep Swedish knowledge and expertise in wood engineering and technology. The company and its employees have a long track record of developing innovative and disruptive technologies such as laminate flooring, floor and furniture locking systems such as 5G® and Threespine® allowing for easy assembly, and Nadura® and Woodura® - the new powder based flooring material. A common thread and guiding principle of all of Välinge's innovations is to develop products that are better performing at a lower cost with a core focus on benefit to the end user. Välinge currently holds around 1,800 patents and has expanded its IP portfolio significantly over the past five years, and may obtain over 10,000 patents from its existing applications.
The company is based in Viken,
"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,
"We are very satisfied to be a part of the ongoing journey for Välinge. 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, Välinge'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 Välinge'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."
"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."
"KKR has an extensive track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and family-owned companies in
Välinge is an R&D and IP company with particular strength in wood based technologies and the flooring and furniture industries. Founded in 1993, Välinge pioneered the concept of floating click floors and today, over 1bn m2 of flooring is sold with click systems every year, reducing the time and effort needed for floor installation as well as easing the environmental burden of the hundreds of millions liters of glue used for installations in the past. Revenue in 2017 is expected to be close to
The present technology base covers fields related to floor locking, furniture, surface materials and treatments, production processes and tools, digital printing and ink, and thermoplastic core materials.
Välinge's patent portfolio is one of the most comprehensive industrial patent portfolios in
Pervanovo is the Pervan family's investment company. The company's strategic activities include 50.2% ownership of the Välinge Group, 100% ownership of the
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and, through its strategic manager partnerships, hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners' capital and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR's investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about
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