A Narrative Approach to Business Growth
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A Narrative Approach to Business Growth

Mona Ericson

Mona Ericson conceptualizes business growth using a participatory narrative approach, adopting story-like representations of growth activity. This approach emphasizes the use of description, conceptualization, knowledge sharing and interpretation. It connects the subject and the researcher allowing the latter to better understand the actual practice of growing a business, while also extending the study to the novice and general reader alike.
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Chapter 7: Hilding Anders for Sale

Mona Ericson


In 2001, two investment companies, Nordic Capital and Ratos, held a major share of the Hilding Anders equity. As well as providing investment opportunity to stock market players on the Nordic market, both aimed at maximizing shareholder value over time through developing primarily unlisted companies (Nordic Capital Ratos, 2003). In May 2001, Ratos and the British private equity company 3i acquired Atle, dividing the Atle holdings between them (Arne Karlsson, CEO of Ratos, personal communication, 6 November 2009). That meant that the three biggest owners of Hilding Anders were Nordic Capital with 32 percent, Ratos owning 27 percent and Bacapps AB (Bacapps; the Adolfsson family) still controlling 18 percent of the equity. External owners Ratos and Nordic Capital both acquired their interest in Hilding Anders during the expansion period of the past five years. The Ratos stake of 27% originated when Atle AB, under its Business Area Manager Arne Karlsson, invested in the company in 1998. The holding was transferred to Ratos in the buyout of Atle in May 2001. Nordic Capital’s stake of 32% originates from its 1997 investment in Apax Intressenter AB which merged with Hilding Anders in 1999. (Investcorp, 2003b) Growth accelerated because more capital was raised by Nordic Capital and Ratos and through a new share offer and a bank loan. Within the year 2001, 12 companies were bought. CEO Bengt Adolfsson recounts: We chose to share the ownership with others. … Since then, the firm has grown continuously, both organically and through acquisitions in Europe. Today,...

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