January 13, 2011, 4:08 PM

Office Depot looks to expand in Sweden

Office Depot plans to acquire Svanströms, which is overhauling e-commerce.

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Office Depot Inc. is acquiring Svanströms Group, a Swedish office supply company. The transaction is subject to approval by the Swedish antitrust authority and is expected to close in February, Office Depot says. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Svanströms has been owned by Mellby Gård Industri AB since 1997. Since then, Svanströms has expanded through acquisitions in the Swedish office supply industry, including retail chains Wettergrens and Killbergs.

“Svanströms has a successful legacy of more than 150 years in the industry,” says Åke Norström, country manager for Office Depot in Sweden. “It is a perfect complement to Office Depot’s existing Swedish operations, and the acquisition will benefit Office Depot’s competitive positioning in the Nordics.”

Office Depot, No. 5 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, first entered the Swedish market in 2004 through a strategic alliance with AGE Kontor & Data AB. In 2008, Office Depot acquired the company, now called Office Depot Sverige AB, which added 13 retail stores and a contract business to Office Depot’s global presence.

In early 2010, Svanströms updated its e-commerce sites with a new design and functionality. New features included improved search with filtering options, order history with enhanced sorting and filtering capabilities, and a redesigned payments process.

“We’ve been successful in this market and see continued growth and high potential in the region,” says Charlie Brown, president of Office Depot’s international division.

Office Deport reported $4.1 billion in online sales in fiscal 2009.

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