After a successful first decade, many of the goals of the revitalized SMV Lifttrucks were fulfilled. In the early 2000s, it was a recognized company in the field of lift trucks, appreciated for its modern and reliable products. But building the best machines is only one part of a success story; you also need to offer good service and maintenance, and that is on a global scale if you want to attract big customers. At the time, Paul Westergren was the Director of Finance at SMV Lifttrucks and also one of the nine founders:
To continue developing our company, we began looking for a new potential partner who could complement our offerings. Early in our discussions, Konecranes emerged as a suitable company to collaborate with, considering both their profile and their extensive global coverage.
Övre raden: Conny Persson, Karl-Gustav Salomonsson, Hans Matzner, Göran Skogsborn, Hans Karlsson och Roger Persson.
Nedre raden: Paul Westergren, Olle Österlund och Nils-Olof Larsson.
The first meeting with Konecranes
In 2003, SMV Lifttrucks attended a PEMA (Port Equipment Manufacturers Association) event in Belgium, where Konecranes also was also present. SMV Lifttruck’s CEO, Olle Österlund, decided to seize the opportunity to approach Konecranes with the idea of cooperation. He was well-received, and the two parties decided to continue the conversation back at home.
Shortly after the event, Konecranes' Chairman Stig Gustavsson visited us in Markaryd. We had some truly productive discussions, and just as we at SMV Lifttrucks saw that Konecranes would complement our offerings, they saw the same from their perspective, as they did not have lift trucks and reach stackers in their product portfolio at that time, says Paul Westergren.
From partnership to acquisition
The initial meeting was followed by several others. What began as a discussion about a partnership soon evolved into the bold idea of Konecranes acquiring SMV Lifttrucks.
All of us thoroughly evaluated the pros and cons of all alternatives. What would be the best long-term option for SMV Lifttrucks? All owners, including our majority owner Göthe Parkander, soon came to the common conclusion that with Konecranes taking over, SMV Lifttrucks would gain access to new and larger markets. Our distribution network would be complemented by a sales network targeting the manufacturing industry. We could also take further steps toward global expansion, supported by Konecranes' global network, says Paul Westergren.
We have a deal
In October 2004, Konecranes acquired 100 percent of the shares in SMV Lifttrucks, which became a business unit with the name Konecranes Lift Trucks.
We immediately realized that it was the perfect partnership, with two companies joining forces to establish a strong common foundation. There was a synergistic effect, with Konecranes Lift Trucks gaining greater volumes as part of Konecranes. And as founders, we saw that our company was in safe hands. Today, I am very proud of what we achieved historically and how successful Konecranes Lift Trucks is today, concludes Paul Westergren.