Our History

From local trader to European partner

Historic picture: BE Group warehouse 1937
The warehouse in 1937, Malmö, Sweden.

BE Group has its origins in both Sweden and Finland. The name BE Group derives from the company Bröderna Edstrand, which was founded in Malmö in 1885, although the Group’s history began in Finland in 1868.

1868 Starckjohann & Co is founded by Peter Starckjohann in Viborg, Finland (later ceded to Russia). 1885 Bröderna Edstrand is founded by Hans and Jöns Edstrand in Malmö, Sweden. Both companies are trading firms operating in their respective national markets. Initially, Bröderna Edstrand also sells other goods, such as brick and technical oils, but as the years pass, operations focus increasingly on steel and other metals.

In the 20th century the two companies expand independently. In 1937, Bröderna Edstrand inaugurates its offices on Spadegatan in Malmö – to this day, these remain the Group’s headquarters. In the early 1960s, Bröderna Edstrand is a Group with some 2,500 employees and, in 1974, the company is launched on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

In 1976, Starckjohann takes its first steps into what we today call production services. In 1979, Bröderna Edstrand achieves sales of more than SEK 1 billion for the first time.

1988 Bröderna Edstrand is acquired by Trelleborg AB and the Edstrand family leaves the company after four generations of ownership.

In the 1990s, the company establishes units in Denmark, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. Starckjohann Steel expands in parallel through, for example, the acquisition of the company Mercantile and by establishing operations in Estonia.

1999 Nordic Capital becomes the major shareholder in Bröderna Edstrand and Starckjohann Steel. The two companies, including their various subsidiaries in the countries surrounding the Baltic, now merge to form BE Group. In 2004 Trelleborg sells its remaining shareholding in the Group and in 2006 shares are re-listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

Progressing into the new millennium, the Group’s European expansion continues with operations being established in the Czech Republic  Slovakia, and since 2007, BE Group has also been represented in Shanghai, China.

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