Swedish vehicle inspection specialist Opus Group announced this morning that it divests its Swedish equipment business Opus Equipment to Mekonomen for SEK 51m on a debt-free basis. The sale streamlines Opus’ operations focusing on being a leading global vehicle inspection company.
Opus Equipment generated sales of SEK 135m and EBITDA of SEK 7.7m in 2014, so the overall impact of the divestment on Opus Group’s earnings is minimal. What’s more, the divestment implies that the company can now focus even more on expansion with vehicle inspection, organically and via M&A. Opus’ CEO Magnus Greko also stresses that there have been some complex competitive situation, due to the fact that Opus Equipment also delivers equipment to Opus’ competition in Sweden.
“It has become more and more obvious that classic customer/supplier-relationship is working well when it comes to general testing equipment. We do not need to own such an operation ourselves.” says Greko in a statement in connection with today’s announcement.
The situation in the USA is not affected by today’s sale. Opus recently acquired equipment manufacturer Drew Technologies there. “We keep what we believe is strategically important equipment capacity, technology for remote sensing, OBD etc which we need for our American endeavour” says CEO Greko.
Opus Group will remain a large customer of Opus Equipment going forward. The sale implies a cash injection of SEK 51m to a Opus that was at SEK 300m at the end of Q1 2015. A strong cash balance obviously make it easier to grow organically but acquisitions are also high up on the CEO’s agenda: “We continuously look at acquisition and there are many interesting possibilities. Sometimes it take a bit longer, sometimes it goes faster.”
Elsewhere today, the Swedish transportation agency announced that Opus’ market share within vehicle inspection in Sweden has risen to 28.9% in May up from 27% in the month before, making it the biggest monthly winner. Opus’ average market share during 2014 was 28.7%. The company remains number 2 behind Svensk Bilprovning at 32.5% market share.