Fiskars, a listed Finnish company concentrating on scissors and gardening tools, has taken over full control of Silva, the Swedish company specializing in compasses. Sealed at the end of June, the buy is chiefly meant to boost European sales of Gerber, the American brand of outdoor knives that belongs to Fiskars. The integration of the two operations in Europe, which will enable the joint company to offer a wider range of small outdoor equipment, will be led by Lars Gullikson, current chief executive of Silva.
The Swedish company, which further specializes in headlamps and pedometers, was previously owned at 49 percent by the Tillander family, while the majority stake was held by Amplico, a Swedish investment fund. They both sold their shares in Silva, but the Tillanders retain Silva Nexus Marine, a marine electronic equipment business.
Gerber represents a annual sales of about $100 million, nearly one-quarter of the Fiskars group’s sales, compared with only €30 million for Silva. The Swedish company already has weighty sales in the USA under the Brunton brand that make up roughly one-half of its turnover. Its U.S. business, based in Wyoming, should be integrated into the Gerber company in Portland, Oregon, under the leadership of its current chief executive, Jason Landmark.
Conversely, Gerber should benefit greatly from Silva’s infrastructure in Europe, consisting of four subsidiaries and distribution in nearly all countries. Until now Gerber knives have been distributed in Europe through the subsidiaries of Fiskars, which chiefly sells in do-it-yourself, office equipment and crafts stores. The integration will probably call for a reshuffle of the joint company’s brand portfolio.