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The History of the Esselte Company
In 1913, thirteen separate Swedish businesses, all involved in graphics and related operations, joined together to form SLT.
Through numerous acquisitions, the company grew and its core activities soon included everything from book binding and paper manufacturing, to the printing of stationery, playing cards, maps, forms and printing securities; including share certificates and bonds.
By the early 1960s SLT had an overwhelming number of competing operations and products, and in 1964 a period of dramatic structural change began. Divisions with similar activities were merged and any incompatible operations disposed
On August 1, 1970, the group changed its name to Esselte. With high liquidity, vast borrowing potential and an agreed overseas acquisition program, Esselte embarked on a period of dynamic growth; beginning with the acquisition of Benson's International Systems Ltd, the world's largest producer of ring binder mechanisms.
1976 - Esselte acquires Oxford Pendaflex Corp, a leading U.S.
manufacturer of suspension filing systems.
1978 - Esselte acquires DYMO Industries Inc, a San Francisco embossing company, which also included the Meto price marking business.
1981 - Esselte acquires Letraset Ltd, a world leading supplier of products for graphic design and technical drawing.
1990 - Esselte's commercial real estate, publishing, book retailing and printing operations are sold.
1992 - The Annual General Meeting approves the demerger of Esselte into two separately listed companies.
1996 - Esselte acquires the Curtis Manufacturing Company, a U.S. Computer Products business; and Karl Bene & Co., Austria's largest office products supplier.
1997 - Jan Kvarnström is appointed President and CEO of Esselte. A new strategy is developed with a focus on developing the group's legal, financial and operative structures.
1998 - Esselte acquires several computer products and office product groups including Leitz, the largest office supplies manufacturer in Germany, and CoStar, a U.S. manufacturer of label printers for personal computers. The Nielsen and Bainbridge business is divested.
1999 - The Meto business is distributed to shareholders. Esselte becomes a company focused on office supplies and the head office is moved to the UK. Anders Igel is appointed President and CEO of Esselte.
2000 - Esselte's profitibility grows. There is an increased focus on the key operating divisions, and operating income is significantly increased. The Monti printing business is divested.
2001 - Esselte is weathering a severe recession by continued operational and business improvements. Cash flow is increasing dramatically. The Letraset graphics business and the Tarifold filing system business are divested. The Curtis business is restructured.
July 2002 - Esselte becomes a private company, as J.W. Childs public offer to the shareholders of Esselte AB is accepted by shareholders representing 97 percent of the capital and 97 percent of the votes in Esselte. Following the acquisition Magnus Nicolin, formerly an EVP of Esselte, was appointed President and CEO.
March 2003 - Esselte builds up its team of brand oriented consumer packaged goods executives and doubles investment in marketing and innovation. Esselte acquires the Consumer Products Division of Centis Inc., an office product manufacturer. This transaction includes the assets of US consumer business of Centis, composed of JM (formerly Joshua Meyers), Duo Tang and Century Craft, and the entire business of Centis Canada (Post Fax.)
October 2003 - Esselte establishes an international presence in the creative products market, through its acquisition of Xyron. Xyron develops, manufactures and sells innovative adhesive application, laminate application and image transfer products designed to enhance and protect ordinary printer output, digital images, photographs and hand-generated items. Esselte is now well positioned to seize a global leadership role in the expanding binding and lamination marketplace.
April 2004 - Esselte announced that it successfully completed a seven-year, 150 million EUR bond issuance. In total, 120 institutions from more than 15 countries purchased the bonds. The net proceeds of the offering were used to retire mezzanine debt and reduce senior bank debt. The bonds can be purchased through the Irish Stock Exchange.
August 2004 - Esselte consolidates Sales Group Europe with its Organizational Solutions business to form Esselte Europe. The new entity ensures cooperation among divisions with a shared goal and objectives.
November 2005 - Esselte sells its DYMO division to Newell Rubbermaid for US$730 million. The deal, worth three times sales, enables Esselte to take advantage of the significant investment it had made in the business since 2002. With the proceeds of the sale Esselte pays down the debt from its leveraged buyout in 2002 by private equity firm JW Childs.
December 2005 - Gary Brooks is named president and CEO of Esselte. Esselte continues its drive to become the global leader in office supply products.
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