TALLINN - Swedish metal products manufacturer Mekanotjanst Industrier expanded its operations in Estonia by acquiring a former window plant in Ulenurme industrial park, in Tartu, and re-equipping it to process sheet metal, reported News2biz. The company bought the plant of the bankrupt window maker, Felistra, in the beginning of the year from the receivership. The plant is almost brand new; the Estonian-owned Felistra only erected it before going bankrupt in 2009.
According to the bankruptcy trustee, the assets changed hands for 12 million kroons (769,200 euros).
One’s bad timing while making an investment decision may, however, turn into another’s good luck. “We already planned to expand outside Sweden, and eyed Tartu, in Estonia, as a likely site. Then, this excellent opportunity came up,” says Christer Fransson, CEO of the newly established Mekanotjanst Baltic.
According to Fransson, the profile of the Tartu plant will be similar to that of the Swedish metal processing plant. “Sheet metal processing, milling operations, and, to some extent, assembly,” he says.
The plant, currently equipped and planned to be launched in October, will mostly produce for export. “We will have some customers in Estonia, but mainly the product will be exported to Sweden as well as other countries,” says Fransson. “Mekanotjanst is a subcontractor for large Swedish and European companies, and that will also be the Tartu plant’s future,” he added.
Raivo Kiivit, the deputy managing director of Mekanotjanst Baltic, added that the company will be providing subcontracting services for such heavyweights as Ericsson, ABB and Siemens. “One reason why the parent company was looking to set up production in Estonia was that Ericsson moved its plant to Tallinn, and we need to be as close to the end customer as possible,” he said.
Mekanotjanst Baltic expects to hire 50 workers in Tartu this year. “We plan to expand in the future, then we shall add workers as well,” says the CEO, adding that the turnover of the Tartu plant should reach 90 million kroons next year.
Mekanotjanst Industrier is a subcontract manufacturer of metal products. The company has four plants in Sweden, and belongs, together with Trux, a producer of bumpers for trucks, and pneumatic actuators manufacturer Wire Matic Regler, to Mekanotjanst Holding. The consolidated turnover of Mekanotjanst Holding amounted to 1.7 billion kroons in 2009. Mekanotjanst Holding is owned as well as directed by Christer Fransson.