Fristads Kansas Group divests Fristads, Kansas and Leijona to Hultafors Group
Fristads Kansas Group has signed an agreement to sell Fristads, Kansas and Leijona to Hultafors Group, that is owned by Latour. The divestment means a further streamlining of the Group and a significantly stronger financial position for the remaining six brands. The transaction is conditional of approval from relevant competition authorities.
The Strategy of the Fristads Kansas Group is to develop strong, independent brands within different categories of workwear and promotional/profile wear. Since the change of ownership of the Group in 2015, decision making has been decentralised to largely autonomous and focused companies for each brand. Simultaneously, significant investments have been made within brand marketing, product development and through increased efficiency in the value chain. The strategy has proven to be successful and many years of losses have turned into positive earnings.
In 2019, the Group achieved the best results for more than 10 years, and so far in 2020, mitigated the Covid-19 pandemic successfully with strong profitable performance across all brands of the Group. As results have improved, the financial position of the Group has strengthened and debt substantially reduced.
In the beginning of 2020, a further streamlining of the Group commenced with the divestment of the French brand Bragard, specialised in workwear for hotels and restaurants. Now, the next important step is taken through the divestment of Fristads, Kansas and Leijona to Hultafors Group, a company owned by the publicly listed Swedish investment firm Latour. After this transaction, the planned streamlining of the Group is completed.
”The teams behind Fristads, Kansas and Leijona have made significant improvements to the businesses over the last years. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has contributed to the positive development, which has been an important factor in the deal with Hultafors Group,” says Anders Davidsson, Group CEO of Fristads Kansas Group. ”We are very proud of what we have achieved with these fine brands in recent years. At the same time, I am convinced that Hultafors Group, supported by its financially strong owner Latour, will be an excellent new home for Fristads, Kansas and Leijona.”
After the transaction, the Group will consist of six brands with a total turnover of around Euro 250 million within three main segments:
- B&C is a leading brand within promotion and profile wear in Europe.
- Clinic Dress, Sverre W Monsen, Hejco and Martinson focus mainly on workwear for the healthcare sector with strong market positions, especially in Germany, Sweden and Norway.
- Wenaas is a leading brand within uniforms, work wear and personal protective equipment, focusing on the shipping and oil and gas sector in Norway with a growing presence internationally.
”With a stronger financial position, we are now looking forward to investing in and creating the best possible foundation for all of our brands to grow and become even more successful,” says Anders Davidsson, CEO of Fristads Kansas Group. “We see great potential for growth and stable profitability over time across all remaining brands in the Group.”
For additional questions, please contact Group CEO Anders Davidsson,
telephone number +46 705 45 70 80
Fristads Kansas Group is a leading European manufacturer of workwear and promotion/profile wear with its brands Fristads, Kansas, Leijona, B&C, Wenaas, Clinic Dress, Sverre W Monsen, Hejco and Martinson. The Group designs, manufactures and sells workwear to several different end use segments and has strong market positions, especially in Northern Europe. Fristads Kansas Group has an annual turnover of around Euro 400 million. For more information, please visit our website www.fristadskansasgroup.com.
Fristads Kansas Group continues to improve its financial performance.
End of January 2020, Fristads Kansas Group sold Bragard to the American Group Chef Works.
• Successful turnaround of the Group with positive net income in 2016
• Re-introduction of Fristads as stand-alone workwear brand
Fristads Kansas, one of the largest workwear brands for construction and industry, reports a growth of 6 percent for the full year 2015. Operating profit (EBIT) amounted to 5.9 MEUR and Fristads Kansas maintained strong market positions in its home markets Sweden and Denmark, and grew in a number of other markets. At the same time, the Fristads Kansas Group, showed a strong positive trend.
During March 2016, Fristads Kansas Group sold Lafont to the French workwear and PPE group Cepovett.