Friday, November 25, 2011

Mustad to be Sold

Norwegian investment company is the surprise bidder for iconic hook brand
After months of fevered speculation, the future of troubled Norwegian hook manufacturer Mustad looks to have finally been assured.

In a surprising twist to the long-running saga which has seen both Rapala and Pure Fishing linked to moves to acquire Mustad, Norwegian industrial and investment company, NLI Utvikling, has announced its intention to purchase the company.

The owner of NLI Utvikling, Borre Nordheim-Larsen, this week notified the Norwegian Competition Authority about the ‘possible acquisition of O.Mustad & Son AS’. He told it that some financial matters had yet to be settled, but that these were likely to be resolved in the next month after which a final decision on the acquisition will be made.

News of NLI Utvikling’s interest in Mustad has come as a shock to industry insiders as it was widely expected that one of the angling industry’s giants would eventually acquire the iconic hook brand.

Relatively unknown outside its homeland, NLI Utvikling, describes itself as a company that has a tradition in investing in companies in ‘demanding’ situations.

In a press statement the company said: “NLI Utvikling sees great potential in further developing the Mustad world brand.”

NLI Utvikling is a privately-owned and independent investment group with a strong tradition and deep roots in Norwegian industry. Since its inception in 1946, it has grown into an organisation that has nearly 1,300 employees and in 2011 had revenue of approximately 2.3 billion NOK.

It is said to invest in companies with potential for growth, but which find themselves in ‘demanding situations’.

Mustad seems to be an ideal fit for its growing portfolio as the company’s financial woes have been widely reported in the media. Speculation over its future heightened earlier this year when it closed its troubled Philippines operation – making around 200 employees redundant – and announced its decision to concentrate on its core business of hook manufacture.

NLI Utvikling currently has interests in the oil, gas, hydropower and renewable energy industries as well as the property and health sectors.

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