KIRKBI to Acquire a Minority stake in Välinge Group from KKR
Viken, Sweden -- KIRKBI, the holding and investment company of the Kirk Kristiansen family, has signed an agreement to acquire KKR’s 49.8% stake in Välinge, a Swedish industrial R&D company. The founding Pervan family via Pervanovo Invest AB will maintain its majority ownership of 50.2%. The partnership with KIRKBI aims to further strengthen Välinge’s position as a leading industrial R&D company and flooring producer.
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.
“I would like to thank KKR for the support they have provided us, which allowed us to unlock investments behind new technologies,” said Darko Pervan, CEO of Pervanovo Invest AB and founder of Välinge. “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.”
Thomas Lau Schleicher, chief investment officer at KIRKBI, added, “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.”