A great vision and realistic targets

The Danish company, Elma Instruments, offers handheld test and measuring instru-ments used in industry and by tradesmen. It supplies test and measuring instruments in Scandinavia, with annual sales of approxi-mately DKK 150 million. Elma Instruments offers a wide range of products sold under its own label. It also offers products from leading suppliers worldwide, where it typi-cally has exclusive distribution rights.

Strong corporate culture and sustainable business

“I started my first company back in 1982, when I was just 17 years old,” says Lars Bendixen, Managing Director at Elma Instruments. “Through the years, we've grown both organically and via acquisitions. However, we’ve managed to retain the cor-porate culture of a family-run business. With my background as a soccer player, I clearly see the importance of close collaboration and trust. It’s a key factor for success not only on the soccer field, but also for running a business,” he says. “A strong team and loyal co-workers are prerequisites for running a sustainable busi-ness. It’s important to us that our employees have a healthy work environment and opportunities for developing their skills and expertise. We’re primarily a trading com-pany, so when it comes to the environment, our direct impact is limited. However, the products we supply are important because they significantly help lower waste of resources. For example, regular measuring and testing of energy use and water leaks helps our customers ensure that they are using resources as efficiently as possible,” he says. When Elma Instruments was looking for a new owner, there were many prospects. But Indutrade quickly moved to the top of the list, because its business culture was such a perfect match with Elma’s. “It was very important to me that the new owner not only cared about our business interests, but also our employees,” says Lars Bendixen. From Indutrade’s point of view, Elma Instruments’ values and culture were a per-fect match with its own. Other factors that made it an attractive acquisition candidate were the company’s solid business concept, the dedication of its management team, a history of stable growth and strong profit-ability. The acquisition also added a new market (i.e. a area of technology) to Indutrade’s portfolio.

Indutrade’s contribution

“Indutrade has allowed us the freedom to pursue business as usual, yet it has given us the financial muscle, experience and exper-tise of a large, listed company. Now, we can pursue our expansion plans at a quicker pace,” he says. “Indutrade’s financial backing strength-ens our credibility with some of our largest clients, in particular. They can rest assured that we’re in it for the long term. Since we are planning for future growth, we will also benefit greatly from Indutrade’s experience in making acquisitions. Our new owner’s network is also incredibly valuable to us, as it facilitates our access to especially the Swedish market. Indutrade’s model is based on decentralisation, with a clear delegation of authority and responsibility. Within the Group, there is a great deal of accumulated knowledge and experience. So, many bene-fits can be derived, not only via the know-ledge- sharing that goes on but also busi-nesswise,” he says.

Concrete plans

“We have high hopes and concrete plans for the future. In the short run we are hoping to expand locally. Our long-term plan (over the next ten years) is to be established in even more countries. Our market is fragmented, with many small players who have a local presence. Elma, on the other hand, has the size and ability to be a strong, stable part-ner for customers and suppliers on a larger scale, i.e. throughout all of Europe,” he says. “Our vision is to be the leading com-pany for test and measurement instru-ments in Northern Europe. It's a great vision with realistic targets, so I’m confi-dent that we will succeed,” concludes Lars Bendixen.