Covering the gamut from snacks to aluminum-based building systems, Orkla is a conglomerate engaged in producing aluminum and aluminum structures for building projects, branded food and other consumer products, and specialty materials. It makes aluminum profile structures and building foundations through Sapa, its extruded aluminum maker. Orkla's branded goods division produces frozen pizza, biscuits, condiments, preserved vegetables, seafood, pasta, snacks, dietary supplements, and detergents -- all under a slew of different brand names. In addition, Borregaard makes specialty chemicals using timber as a raw material. In 2012 it agreed to form an aluminum manufacturing joint venture with Norsk Hydro.
The proposed joint venture, which will retain the Sapa name, will be equally owned by Orkla and Norsk Hydro, and will combine their respective profiles, building systems, and tubing business to create the world's largest manufactured aluminum products provider.
Concentrating on the Nordic region, Orkla sells its products in more than 40 countries.
Orkla's Sapa segment (ore joint venture) remained its most lucrative, representing about 51% of its total sales for 2011. Sapa consists of Sapa Profiles, Sapa Building System, and Sapa Heat Transfer (heat exchangers). Its many products include aluminum profiles and rolled aluminum products that are used in the automotive, building and construction, furniture, and telecommunications industries, among others. Sapa has operations in Europe, North America, and Asia.
Orkla spreads its branded consumer goods operations across four units: Orkla Foods Nordic (15% of total sales in 2011), Orkla Brands Nordic (13%), Orkla Food Ingredients (9%), and Orkla Brands International (3%). The segment caters mainly to the Nordic region, but it also maintains a strong market share in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as India and Russia.
Amid a turbulent global business environment, the company has made a number of decisions to get its business back on track and focus on growing its branded goods business. It intends to acquire branded goods companies within the Nordic sector and throughout Europe as a means for achieving this goal. In 2011 Orkla Brands purchased several firms, including Rasoi Magic Foods (India), Dagens (Norway), Henskjold Agenturforretning (Norway) and Iglo Logistikksenter (Norway). In 2012 it swallowed up Jordan Personal & Home Care AS and Jordan House Care AS, branded consumer goods firms specializing in toothbrushes, toothpicks, and dental floss. Orkla Brands also bought Rieber & Son ASA, a supplier of branded sauces, soups, salads, and desserts, soon after.
Orkla has also been working to simplify its business structure in order to make room for growth on its balance sheet. In 2011 the company merged Krupskaya and SladCo, its chocolate and confectionery companies, into a single entity under the name Orkla Brands Russia. Orkla merged the two entities in order to gain a more competitive position in the Russian market. Also that year Orkla sold Elkem, a producer of silicon products such as ferroalloys, silicon metal, carbon, and microsilica, to China National Bluestar Group (a Chinese government-owned chemicals and materials company) for $2 billion. – less