The Forming of Operative and Financial Strategies in Global Corporations
Chapter 6: From Domänverket to Sveaskog: transformations and crises
Domänverket’s forest-based industries were transferred in 1941 to a new state company named Statens Skogsindustri (ASSI). The main reason for that change was that Domänverket hosted two different kinds of operations, both of which would presumably benefit from a separation. One part of its operations, which essentially involved running (older) sawmills in several Swedish regions, was carried out in commercial (i.e. competitive) arenas. These units were moved to ASSI, which also got Domänverket’s sulphate plant Karlsborg (located in northernmost Sweden close to Kalix). Most of the plants/machines within ASSI needed investments to become modern and competitive. Domänverket’s other core activity – forestry – stayed where it was. Despite the ‘carving up’ of the commercial units and the formation of ASSI, the Swedish Forest Agency (Skogsstyrelsen) was to supervise also the new ‘autonomous’ joint-stock company. ASSI’s focus on sawn wood indicated that the addition of fibre production could be a fitting complement. Following that path, ASSI built two board factories (Pitea and Skinnskatteberg) in the late 1940s, and over the subsequent years it became Sweden’s largest board producer. By 1950, the capacity of Karlsborg’s pulp production had doubled, and a kraft paper mill was established there, which was supposed to reduce the company’s dependence on the volatile pulp market.
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