Sweden’s currently biggest demolition contractorPublished 15/9 at 12:12
Lotus is not a new demolition player in the Swedish arena, but has, through acquisitions of the well-known demolition contractors Rivab, Swedish Demolition Group and Rivners, become Sweden’s largest provider of pure demolition services. Jan Hermansson reports.
The Swedish demolition map has been re-written. During the last two to three years a number of acquisitions has taken place between the larger demolition and concrete cutting contractors in Sweden. For years the biggest player was DEMCOM (formerly Lodab) with an annual turn over around €20M. Then the Finnish contractor Delete started to pay interest to the Swedish market and acquired a number of smaller and medium sized demolition contractors, including DEMCOM in 2016. The turn over for Delete in Sweden jumped to €52M. However, Delete services also include damage control, high power vacuuming, industrial cleaning, services for properties and demolition and recycling. Delete is still a huge demolition contractor, maybe the biggest in the Nordic region but in Sweden we have a challenger.
During 2016 and in the beginning of 2017 another large player in Sweden Lotus Maskin has started to grow extensively through acquisitions. Based in Stockholm. Lotus entered the demolition industry in 2009. It was founded in 1997 by Seppo Soumela and Margaretha Segerlund and the company worked with construction machinery services and transports. These services are still important but currently demolition, recycling, concrete cutting and industrial cleaning services represents some 75% of the services.
In 2012 Lotus acquired the Gothenburg based demolition and concrete cutting contractors Rivab, establishing a strong foothold in the west side of Sweden. Lotus also acquired 33% of the Swedish Demolition Group in 2014. But what placed Lotus, as the largest pure Swedish demolition contractor, was the acquisition of the demolition company Rivners in December last year.
Rivners is the oldest Swedish demolition contractor and was founded in the 1950s and has always been one of the 10 largest and most respected demolition contractors in Sweden. When Rivners was acquired the remaining shares in the Swedish Demolition Group were acquired by Lotus. The total turnover last year reached some €40M and for this year the expectations are to reach some €50M only in demolition, recycling and concrete cutting services. Currently the group employs some 200 people. The holding company is still Lotus Maskin with its subsidiaries Rivab and Rivners. All three brand names will continue.
“Our goal is not to be the biggest with the highest turn over. We want to be the best supplier of demolition services, including the most efficient, most competitive, safest and with the highest quality of all aspects,” said one of the owners of Lotus Maskin and Transport and chief executive John Segerlund. “But I think with the speed we are keeping right now our turnover and number of employees will increase extensively during the coming years.”
The current demolition market in Sweden is very good. "The availability of jobs is great, but it does not mean that we get all we bet on. Competition is still hard,” said Rivners former owner Richard Steen.
"Within the group, we have a very pronounced policy to follow and live up to laws and regulations in, for example, safety and environmental considerations,” said another Rivners former owner Kjell Steen. “The requirements are also tight and those who do not follow them get out pretty quickly. However, I would like to see more of the buyers not just looking at price when choosing a contractor. We really guarantee that the services we perform are capable of being tested. Lotus also follows a purposeful plan on how to be more environmentally conscious and sustainable in its work. Additionally, Lotus, Rivners and Rivab are all certified according to Bf9k quality system and are members of the Swedish Demolition Association.”
With the parent company Lotus Maskin and Transport and the subsidiaries Rivab, SDG and Rivners, the group also has extensive resources of a huge fleet of machinery. Today, the group has about 140 construction machines. Of these, about 40 are demolition-equipped excavators weighing between 5t to 120t, of which nine have high reach booms ranging from 20m to 43m. Most of the machines are from Hitachi, Komatsu, Caterpillar Liebherr and Volvo.
The group also has about 40 different types of compact loaders, mainly Bobcat, and 20 demolition robots, mainly from Brokk, in sizes from Brokk 50 and up to Brokk 400. They also have 20 to 30 vehicles, such as pickup trucks, freight trucks, service vehicles, vans, cranes, trailers, mobile screens, waste containers and recycling crusher. In addition there is a vast variety of hydraulic tools, such as hydraulic hammers, concrete crushers, shears, pulverisers, sorting grabs and steel nibblers between 400kg and 10t. "We definitely have Sweden's largest specialized machine park for the business we work in,” said Steen.
All administrative activity has been transferred to Lotus head office in Norsborg, Stockholm and was completed in February. Machines and all other equipment are stored at a separate facility with an associated workshop and store of 45,000m2. Lotus also has its own 400,000m2 concrete yard close to the office in Norsborg.
The switch to the new Lotus has worked well and is equipped to continue the venture and development of the group.