Sören Gaardboe became CEO of Sweden-based OptiGroup in March 2019.
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2022: Headed by CEO Sören Gaardboe, OptiGroup has been blazing along the acquisition trail in recent years. Having joined the firm in 2006, Gaardboe became CEO in March 2019, having formerly occupied the position of COO.
Following a new strategic approach adopted in 2016, the Northern European packaging and facilities supplies wholesaler has successfully transitioned from a traditional paper wholesaler to a modern B2B distributor. This has been achieved through organic growth, acquisitions and divestments that no longer fit with its long-term aims.
Since the start of 2021, the distributor has bought nine companies, four of these occurring this year. The purchases cover the breadth of the group’s three divisions – facility, safety and foodservice; packaging; and paper and business supplies. They have expanded its presence in its home country of Sweden, as well as in Norway, Denmark, Hungary and Benelux. The company now has well-established brands in 16 countries. Revenues currently stand at just over €1 billion ($994 million).
There has also been a change of ownership.In late 2021, private equity firm FSN Capital took over OptiGroup – it was previously owned by Altor Fund II and Triton Fund II since 2008 and then also by RoosGruppen from 2017.
To continue its growth and development – partly geographically and partly by making its offering broader and more sustainable – the group has identified several strategic focus areas. These comprise sustainability, digitisation, cash conversion, acquisitions and synergies, organic growth and leading customer offerings.
Some key objectives include growing own brands to 30% of sales within the facility, safety and foodservice division; e-commerce to account for over 50% of orders; and operating cash flow in relation to adjusted EBITDA to amount to 90%.