Layer Group is the leading surface service group in the Nordics, built on regional companies with driven entrepreneurs and strong local brands. The group today consists of over 35 prominent brands throughout Sweden and Finland with more than 1,600 employees. Layer Group offers primarily painting and adjacent services such as flooring, tiling, and paint, to public and private real estate owners. Litorina partnered with management and local entrepreneurs of Layer Group in early 2021 to support with resources to take the group to its full potential including facilitating the rapid and profitable expansion journey.
When Litorina entered as majority owner, Layer Group consisted of six industry leading painting companies in selected parts of Sweden. Litorina saw a potential to accelerate growth and build a national and potentially a Nordic group within surface services. The initial market study confirmed a large fragmented market with underlying growth and stable margins over time due to the primarily exposure towards renovation and maintenance of existing buildings. The ambition was, in addition to attract more leading surface service companies across Sweden and Nordics, to also leverage the benefit of being a larger group such as shared support functions and investments in e.g., sustainability, digitalization and procurement.
Value creation initiatives.
Setting the foundation
As always when Litorina partners with a new company, a plan is set with the management team and board to take the company to its full potential. Prior to the investment, a relevant board was made available with knowhow to back the groups future journey once the investment was made. Immediately post investment, a Group CFO and a COO / Head of M&A were recruited to drive business development across companies and lead the M&A growth. A year into our holding when the group had more than doubled in size, an external group CEO, with experience from leading and developing a company of relevant magnitude and size, was appointed.
Building the winning team
The key success factors in Layer’s growth has been to be selective in M&A, to build on the leading regional brands with a good market reputation and to be niche with clear industrial logic, which has created a buzz in the industry where well-reputed companies at Layer Group have attracted other strong companies to join. This, in combination with structured M&A work and standardized processes, has enabled +25 acquisitions and over SEK +1,5 billion in additional turnover in the first 20 months under Litorina’s ownership. In October 2022, Layer entered Finland through the acquisition of one of Finland´s largest painting companies. Today, Layer is present in a substantial part of Sweden and Finland and has numerous companies interested in becoming part of Layer Group on the continued growth journey in the Nordics.
Drive best-practice and leverage scale
One reason why the regional companies are open to become part of Layer Group is the benefit of being a larger group and with that the ability as the leading group to drive change and development in the industry. There are companies in Layer Group that are industry leaders in sustainability, digitalization, and employer branding, and it is important to continue to develop these abilities and stay in the forefront as well as to encourage the other companies in the group to the same level. Two other examples of successful group benefits are the common purchase agreements with suppliers where Layer benefits from its scale and the tender and calculation function where support takes place between the companies making sure that best-practice are implemented.