Mediaplanet International has signed an agreement to acquire all of the shares in Appelberg, one of Sweden’s largest providers of content marketing.

Appelberg is being sold by Stampen Media Partner, part of the Stampen Media Group. With the acquisition, two strong companies are creating a more comprehensive international customer offer and emerging as a world-leading content marketing company.

Appelberg was founded 25 years ago and is currently one of Sweden’s largest channel-independent, one-stop-shop providers of content marketing. Based on its strong editorial tradition and high-quality, channel-independent production, the company has established strong and lasting customer relationships with many major Nordic companies, several of which have international operations. In 2013 Appelberg had sales of approximately 75 MSEK and 55 employees.

The acquisition is of great strategic importance for Mediaplanet, which intends to continue driving the market for value-creating content marketing. Mediaplanet expects the acquisition to generate synergies, particularly through the combination of the companies’ offers and platforms. This includes Appelberg’s digital capacity and qualitative one-stop-shop solutions, which can be implemented within Mediaplanet’s global presence and office network in 15 countries. Overall, this will enhance the international customer offer and strengthen the company’s position in the new media landscape.

”With the acquisition of Appelberg, Mediaplanet is taking the natural next step in developing its position as its customers’ first choice for content marketing. We were forerunners in this market niche when we founded Mediaplanet in 2002, and our international expansion has been extensive since then. We see the unbelievably rapid growth of the online trend, and we want to be involved in driving this trend in the future as well. Appelberg is at the absolute forefront here, and is also a one-stop-shop provider. I look forward to the expertise Appelberg will bring – expertise that will lay the foundation for continued expansion and a competitive offer,” says Richard Julin, CEO of Mediaplanet International.

”Appelberg was an early leader with its initiatives in digital development, and we have now developed into one of Sweden’s largest channel-independent, one-stop-shop providers of content marketing. For many of our customers, printed and online as well as social media complement each other – and this is also our view. The digital part of our business has been the fastest growing for a number of years, though, and this is also where we see the emergence of new exciting solutions. It is gratifying that we now have the opportunity to expand our offer to clients outside of Sweden,” says Calle Ericsson, CEO of Appelberg.

Appelberg will remain a separate company with its own management and retained brand, and will be a separate profit centre within Mediaplanet International.

Combined annual sales total approximately 420 MSEK*. The total number of employees is 380 in 15 countries. Gunnar Strömblad, chairman of Mediaplanet International since 2013, will join Appelberg’s board of directors.

* Combined net sales for January-December 2013, Mediaplanet International and Appelberg.

”The acquisition of Appelberg is a highly important milestone in Mediaplanet’s growth strategy. Through its infrastructure network, Mediaplanet has a very scalable business model that we can now build on. Mediaplanet is well equipped financially for further expansion, with a focus on organic growth. Eventually, we will continue to evaluate interesting acquisition opportunities,” says Gunnar Strömblad.

”The sale of Appelberg is part of our plan to reduce our debt while at the same time consolidating our ownership so that we can shift focus to our strategic initiatives. We are very pleased with the deal, and are highly confident that Appelberg now has the opportunity to develop further in an advanced and global environment,” says Martin Alsander, CEO of Stampen Media Group.