PRESS RELEASE 24/08/15

Mechanical engineering company Protab continues its expansion with new partners.

Manufacturer Protab with operations in Vindeln and Nordmaling is taking the next step in its evolution. Partnerinvest Norr and Ackra Invest will participate as partners in the parent company Protab Holding. ”Confidence is high and we envisage major growth opportunities in the years ahead,” says Jan Hörnberg, CEO and Protab’s principal owner.

Pictured from left to right: Ingela Lidström, Senior Investment Manager Partnerinvest Norr, Jan Hörnberg, CEO Protab, Arne Morén, CEO Ackra Invest.

Pictured from left to right: Ingela Lidström, Senior Investment Manager Partnerinvest Norr, Jan Hörnberg, CEO Protab, Arne Morén, CEO Ackra Invest.

A great deal has gone on during Protab’s progress in recent years. The company passed a milestone last autumn when it formed the subsidiary Protab in Nordmaling and took care of some of pump manufacturer Sulzer’s operations in Nordmaling.

“We’ve pursued a growth strategy in recent years and it feels great to take on board two new, dynamic partners with perfect timing exactly as planned. It provides a boost to our development and is a source of confidence not just for our employees in Vindeln and Nordmaling, but also for our customers and suppliers,” says Jan Hörnberg.

Local venture capital companies Partnerinvest Norr and Ackra Invest will each take a 10 per cent participation in the Group, for a total of 20 per cent. They aim to participate actively in the work with Protab’s two production companies and contribute advice, networking and a common focus for future growth.

The plan is for a substantial controlled increase in annual sales – currently standing at SEK 75 million – and increased profitability The new capital injection from the broader ownership will cover an investment plan for Nordmaling and Vindeln for machinery, processes, employees and a clear marketing initiative.

”For several years we’ve noted a trend where companies are willing to produce more in the domestic market and return sub supplier jobs from countries with lower labour costs. Things get done quicker and more reliably with shorter flows and lead times. More and more companies are realizing that it’s profitable to produce locally or nationally and we are convinced that together we have excellent growth opportunities in both Vindeln and Nordmaling,” says Jan Hörnberg.

Development opportunities and more jobs

Partnerinvest Norr is owned by Almi Invest and Norrlandsfonden. Partnerinvest invests in companies that have a clear ambition to grow and it sees Protab as an extremely good addition to its portfolio.

”Protab displays great dynamics in its subsidiaries in Vindeln and Nordmaling. They fit together extremely well as regards expertise, operations and customers, and we feel this makes further development a realistic proposition,” says Ingela Lidström, Senior Investment Manager at Partnerinvest Norr.

Partnerinvest Norr and Ackra Invest share the goal of investing in companies with clear growth ambitions located in Västerbotten and Norrbotten . The investment horizon is usually 3 to 7 years.

Skellefteå-based Ackra Invest, like PartnerInvest, also sees good opportunities for growth in Protab and is investing in the company because it is one of the base industries in the county.

”Our strategy is to find companies that are both able and willing to grow and which have capable entrepreneurs behind them. Protab is a brilliant example of this and our feeling grew especially strong when Protab in Nordmaling was formed. We regard our investment as a great way to create and safeguard employment and contribute to a sound, sustainable investment with good, controllable growth,” says Arne Morén, Ackra Invest CEO.

For further information, contact:

Jan Hörnberg, CEO and principal owner, Protab: 0+46 70-208 66 54

Ingela Lidström, Senior Investment Partner, Partnerinvest Norr: +46 70-624 42 52

Arne Morén, CEO Ackra Invest AB: +46 70-349 73 16

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Click here to download the image: Press image for ”New partners help Protab continue its expansion” (.jpg approx 6 MB).

(Pictured from left to right: Ingela Lidström, Senior Investment Manager Partnerinvest Norr, Jan Hörnberg, CEO Protab, Arne Morén, CEO Ackra Invest.)

In brief:

About Protab
Protab specializes in machining, turning and milling and manufactures components primarily for the hydraulics and forestry industries. System deliveries, where the company assembles manufactured components, form another important part of the operation. Protab has two subsidiaries, one in Vindeln and one in Nordmaling. Today, the operation in Nordmaling concentrates largely on the pump industry with a focus on machining steel, iron and above all aluminium castings and the manufacture of stainless steel spindles. Protab is an important part in Västerbotten County’s industrial cluster. The Group has around 40 employees and total annual sales of SEK 75 million.

About Partnerinvest Norr
Partnerinvest Norr is a regional venture capital company that does business in Västerbotten and Norrbotten Counties, and whose market-neutral investments focus on companies with exciting, scalable business models and highly motivated entrepreneurs. Partnerinvest is owned by Almi Invest and Norrlandsfonden and has been operating for just over five years. Partnerinvest has completed 43 investments and as of autumn 2015 investments are made from a new fund totalling SEK 160 million. Read more at www.partnerinvestnorr.se

About Ackra Invest
Ackra Invest AB is a regional venture capital company. We operate in the Norrland region, primarily in Västerbotten and Norrbotten counties where we invest chiefly in SMEs. We participate in companies as active minority owners in collaboration with entrepreneurs with a good track record. A sound business idea is important, but a capable entrepreneur or competent management is more important and a prerequisite for our participation. In other words, we bet on the jockey, not on the horse. Ackra Invest is owned 50-50 by Skellefteå Kraft AB and AC Invest AB. Read more at www.ackrainvest.se