May 19, 2020

LEGO Group owner KIRKBI takes $417mn, 49.8% stake in Välinge from KKR

KIRKBI Välinge
KKR Välinge
Välinge shares
Lego Group
Johan De Mulder
2 min
LEGO Group owner KIRKBI takes $417mn, 49.8% stake in Välinge from KKR

The Kirk Kristiansen family, majority owners of the LEGO Group, have acquired a 49.8% stake in Swedish industrial R&D firm Välinge for €417mn.

KIRKBI, the family's investment company, has acquired the stake from KKR, the global investment firm which has earned a significant profit having bought the same interest for €167mn two years ago.

The agreement fits with KIRKBI's strategy of concentrating investment on flourishing businesses in northern Europe, with its focus expected to be on supporting the international commercialisation of Välinge's products.

See also:


Välinge, which was founded in 1993, specialises in wood engineering and technology and currently holds 1,800, though this number is set to increase to over 10,000 in the coming years.

"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," said Niclas Håkansson, its CEO.

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."

Share article

Jun 8, 2021

UK office space slashed as hybrid working looks set to stay

offices
hybridworking
realestate
PwC
Kate Birch
3 min
As more UK firms announce a hybrid way of working, new research suggests a third of businesses will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%

With hybrid predicted to be the working model of the future, and businesses both large and small announcing that WFH will continue for employees into the future, the traditional office space is being re-thought.

Businesses are both questioning how much space they need for a hybrid working future, especially if it means they can potentially save money, and what form that space should take.

UK firms slashing office space

Back as early as February, HSBC – whose real estate footprint currently stretches to around 112 football pitches worldwide – said it would be cutting its post-COVID office space by half globally and by 40% in London over the next few years, as it looks to implementation of a hybrid working model in light of the pandemic.

Lloyds Bank followed suit. Following an internal survey where 77% of employees said they wanted to continue to work for 3+ days a week post-pandemic, the bank announced it was also moving to a hybrid model, and so looking to cut its office space by 20% over the next two years.

In fact, the latest research from consulting firm PwC reveals that a third of organisations surveyed (258 of the UK’s largest companies) believe they will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%.

The findings of PwC’s Occupier Survey indicate there is likely to be a sizeable fall in occupied office space with half of executives surveyed saying that despite taking into account mass vaccinations, employees will continue to work virtually 2-3 days a week.

And companies continue to announce the hybrid working model for their employees. Accountancy firm EY has just announced that its 17,000 employees are moving to a hybrid way of working, WFH for at least two days a week. This follows PwC which in March said workers could stay at home for half the time and KPMG which this month said it would expect employees to only work two days in the office every week.

More collaborative work spaces

However, what’s also clear from PwC’s research is that the role of the office is not going to disappear completely, but instead adapt to a new way of working, with half of all organisations with more than 100 employees saying they have a real estate and workplace strategy that considers the long-term impact of COVID-19.

“We may see an increased demand for flexible space as many businesses operating models may well need that option if holding dead space is to be avoided,” says Angus Johnson, UK Real Estate Leader at PwC UK.

According to the survey, more than three quarters of respondents said they are likely to reconfigure existing office with 43% of financial services firms stating that they are extremely likely to do so as a result of the pandemic.

“It’s also clear that the nature and purpose of office space is going to change. As occupiers seek new, different space to meet their accommodation needs, environmental aspects will be increasingly important. If the real estate sector is to truly succeed as a more dynamic, greener industry it’s imperative that creative thinking comes to the fore.”

And companies are already thinking creatively how they can utilise office space in a hybrid future. So while HSBC is cutting a significant amount of office space, it is not downsizing its prestigious Canary Wharf headquarters, and instead reimagining the space. In April, CEO Noel Quinn announced the firm was embracing an open plan floor, with no designated desks or private offices, and instead using hot-desks in line with the future hybrid working style. “My leadership team and I have moved to a fully open-plan floor of the building in east London with no designated desks,” he said on LinkedIn.

Lloyds also reported it was adapting its office space, so that rather than individual offices, it will have a more collaborative workspace. And just last month, KPMG announced it too was ditching desks and individual offices, and replacing them with meeting rooms and conference halls for a more collaborative workspace.

 

 

Share article