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Sweden – Manpower eyes up competitor Lernia

21 September 2012

One of Sweden’s largest staffing suppliers might soon be on sale with competitor Manpower eying up a possible buyout, it has emerged on Thursday. Lernia, placed 7th in Staffing Industry Analysts’ ranking of recruitment firms in the country, could be up for sale next year.

The company is fully owned by the Swedish State with half of its business providing staffing services, and the other half educational services.

A spokesperson from Lernia confirmed to Staffing Industry Analysts that the Government is looking to sell all or part of the group. Although this is so far deemed a sensitive issue, the Ministry of Finance has provided the following statement as to why it is looking to sell.

“The Government believes that the State should not own companies that operate in commercial markets with effective competition, unless the company has a particular societal task that is difficult to manage in any other way.”

But before the company can be sold, the Government has to seek approval of the Parliament first. A decision regarding the matter can be expected in December this year.

The spokesperson told this publication that until then it was “business as usual.” He also said it was too early to say how long the process will actually take.

“For us it is important to continue to build a stable and long-term profitable [company]. Our members and customers expect us to deliver, regardless of ownership,” said Helena Skåntorp, Lernia’s CEO.

But this has not stopped Manpower from considering to buy the company.

CEO of Manpower Sweden, Peter Lundahl, said in an interview with newspaper SVD that the news “felt great.”

He said he would “absolutely” consider buying parts of Lernia as it is not expected that the firm will be sold as an entire unit.

Lernia employs over 4,000 people and offers staffing services to the industrial and logistics sector, as well as outplacement services.

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