Glen Dimplex moves into Scandinavian market with NOBO Electro purchase


Glen Dimplex, the Irish electrical appliances manufacturer, has acquired Norwegian electric heater wholesaler NOBO Electro AS for an undisclosed sum in a move it hopes will help it gain a foothold in the lucrative Scandinavian market.

The company declined to say how much it had paid for NOBO, which has a 25 per cent share in the €150 million Norwegian installed electrical heating sector and boasts a significant portfolio of corporate clients.

Glen Dimplex chief executive Mr Sean O'Driscoll said the take-over would open a vital conduit for the company in Scandinavia.

"The Scandinavian market is the second largest for installed electric heating in Europe, after France. NOBO, which is the market leader, will give us a strong base from which to further develop this product category and through which we can market and distribute our portable electrical heating products."

Glen Dimplex is a privately owned company with an annual turnover of €1.3 billion. It employs 8,500 worldwide and 2,500 in Ireland.

It is just the latest overseas firm to establish a presence in Norway. Three years ago the British-owned Dixon's group acquired the local Elkshop electrical chain.

Wholly owned by businessmen Mr Martin Naughton and Mr Lochlann Quinn, Glen Dimplex is one of Ireland's most successful but secretive companies. It publishes no financial information and never discloses the price paid for acquisitions.

The major shareholder is founder Mr Naughton, who owns in the region of 74 per cent. He is a member of the Council of State and chairman of Intertrade Ireland, the cross-Border business development organisation.

The other 26 per cent is owned by Mr Quinn, who is the chairman of AIB and brother of the former Labour leader Ruairí.

The two men built the business up from a single factory through a relentless series of acquisitions to make it one of the world's largest electrical appliance manufacturers.

Glen Dimplex is a private unlimited company and, as a result, does not have to file accounts with the Companies Office in Dublin. It is, in turn, owned by an offshore company called Kilkee Investments Limited.