Hiab is to acquire Swedish electro-hydraulic valve bank and control system manufacturer Olsbergs.
The family owned company designs, manufactures and supplies hydraulic valves and remote control systems for Hiab loader and forestry cranes, including its CombiDrive 3 and 4 remote control systems which Hiab combines with its SPACEevo software.
The deal, details of which have not yet been disclosed, is expected to complete at the end of the year. At that point all 100 Olsbergs employees will transfer to Hiab, with the company becoming a separate business within Hiab’s Light & Medium loader crane division, managed Barry McGrane who said: “Olsbergs technology has been instrumental in making Hiab the leading provider of the most advanced loader cranes on the market. By making Olsbergs a part of Hiab, we strengthen our technology leadership and can accelerate the development of our loader cranes and shape the future of smart and sustainable load handling.”
Olsbergs managing directorJan-Erik Steen and chief executive Christina Henriksson added: “After decades of close cooperation, we look forward to becoming part of Hiab. We see it as a natural next step in Olsberg's more than 100 year history where we now have the opportunity, together with Hiab, to further strengthen Olsberg's brand and take the next step in technology and growth. As the operations will remain and grow both in Eksjö and Vallentuna, we have secured local jobs and created the best potential for future growth.”
Hiab president Scott Phillips said: “I look forward to welcoming 100 new colleagues from Olsbergs to Hiab. One of our key growth strategies is through acquisitions, and the competence in valve and remote control technology we now bring to Hiab will ensure we are able to further accelerate developing integrated design solutions that will enable us to continue to set the industry standard for control systems that are safer, faster, and easier to use.”
Olsbergs dates back to 1906 when foundry-man Emil Henriksson bought a plot of land called Olsbergs in Bruzaholm, Eksjö, east of Jönköping where he set up a foundry, which he named Olsbergs Gjuteri (Olsbergs Foundry). His products included a variety of castings such as wood-burning stoves, cooking pots and water troughs.
In 1960 Emil’s grandson Göran Henriksson took over and quickly realised that with more than 200 foundries in Sweden all of them making roughly the same products, he needed to find different products. He adopted the new ‘shell moulding method’ enabling the production of far more complicated, higher precision products, such as hydraulic valve blocks. He soon began exporting and found a ready market in the USA.
In 1976 the Henrikssons changed the corporation to Olsbergs Hydraulics and opened a separate location in Eksjö, which included an electronics laboratory and by 1980 had developed a new electro-hydraulic control system for forestry cranes. In 1992 it went on to develop its own radio remote controllers and set up a separate operation - Olsbergs Electronics - in Vallentuna, north of Stockholm.
In 2012 Göran Henriksson passed away at the age of 75, leaving his two daughters Annika and Christina Henriksson and their families to run the business, now the family is passing it on to its largest customer, Hiab.