Swedish Startup Space

Lars Björk Is The Big Winner of the Qlik Takeover

Written by on April 29, 2016
Editors Note: This post is part of a series called Featured posts, presented by Breakit.

All signs are now pointing towards a multi-billion dollar acquisition of the Swedish company Qlik. Here’s how much richer the CEO Lars Björk will be.

On Thursday, new details emerged on what looks to be one of the largest deals ever with a Swedish-based tech companies in the city center.

A number of international venture capital giants have come up with a firm takeover offer of Nasdaq-listed Qlik. The offers are expected to exceed the current market cap of $2.8 billion (22 billion SEK) and the current owners are now evaluating the offers together with its advisers at the investment bank Morgan Stanley.

A deal has been encouraged by the new major shareholder, a hedge fund called Elliott which controls 9 percent of the shares. Elliott invested in Qlik with the stated ambition of finding a buyer for the entire company. A spokesperson at Elliot told Breakit in March that the Fund ‘initiated talks with Qliks management of opportunities to increase shareholder value, including a potential sale of the company and other strategic actions. ”

And now it seems as if a deal is about to be struck. Private equity firms Bain Capital, Permiera and Thoma Bravo have all submitted offers, according to Bloomberg.

If a deal goes through, it would mean a real steal for the Swede Lars Björk, CEO of Qlik. Lars Björk is sitting on shares and options in Qlik that, in the case of a takeover, would give him over $30 million in cash. Maybe he will invest some of this money in Swedish startups. In fact, he has already made such investments and as late as March, his investment in the Skåne-based security app Allone was revealed (Article in Swedish).

Lars Björk became the CEO of Qlik 2007, but started working for the Lund-born company back in 2000.

“I have had the privilege of making a tremendous journey with Qlik. From the very first days when we had 25 employees to today when we have 1500 people working at the company. We employ more than 25 people a month, Lars Björk said, in an interview with CFO World three years ago.

Today, Qlik has grown even further in both number of employees and sales. The company has over 2000 employees and generated over $600 million (5 billion SEK) in 2015. Last year, Qlik also made it on Forbes’ list of the worlds most innovative startups.

The company was founded in 1993 in Lund, but has since moved its headquarters to Philadelphia. However, the majority of development is still in Lund, where the company has around 500 staff engineers.

Behind the success story is a solution for analyzing large data sets. Qlik has developed a tool, Qlikview, which has become extremely popular.

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