Contacts Between the Regions Strengthened
Businesses and Elected Representatives Interested in Cooperation
A working committee from the Municipal Executive Board of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, were given the chance to acquaint themselves with the Vaasa Region during two days in October. Among others, the committee visited Oy Wel-Mach Ab, a company that recently became the majority owner of the Örnsköldsvik-based Mekanotjänst company (nowadays known as Mactech). This acquisition served to strengthen the bonds between the two regions’ trade and industry, an act welcomed by several operators.
The working committee’s twelve members were welcomed by Mr Tomas Häyry, the Mayor of the City of Vaasa, Mr Olav Jern, the County Chief Executive, and Mr Sture Udd, the Managing Director of UPC Center. The committee was taken to visit the Wel-Mach company on the following day. The company, a member of the Österberg Group, had been searching for a suitable company acquisition on the other side of the Kvarken Strait for quite a while when, last summer, it heard about Mekanotjänst’s bankruptcy estate.
The tender and financing had to be organized on a tight schedule in the middle of the holiday season but, as the only tenderer aiming to develop the operations instead of dissolving them, Wel-Mach’s offer was quickly accepted. Wel-Mach took over the company and hired some of the workforce officially as of September 1st.
Matias Österberg, Managing Director of the Vaasa-based Wel-Mach, shows the company’s production facilities to the working committee from Örnsköldvik’s Municipal Executive Board
In connection to the buyout, the Vaasa-based company became a supplier to the defense and nuclear industries and attained production facilities of circa 7000 m2.
“We will continue with Mekanotjänst’s old production and even attempt to develop it,” says Mr Matias Österberg, Wel-Mach’s Managing Director. “The machinery in Örnsköldsvik is fantastic – top of the line – and it would basically be possible to double the factory’s previous turnover.”
The guests from Örnsköldsvik were told about the interesting history and development of the family-owned Österberg Group that currently operates in Finland, Estonia, China and, thanks to the company acquisition, also in Sweden.
After the company visit and factory tour, the committee was taken to Bock’s Corner Village, where the Director of the Kvarken Council, Mr Mathias Lindström, told them about the Council’s operations and even the Midway Alignment project.
Next, the Managing Director of Bock’s Corner Brewery, Mr Jura Mikkonen, told the committee about digital innovations at UPC and the information center – Ostrobothnia’s Silicon Valley – that is being planned at Bock’s Corner Village.
The guests were left with a positive impression
Per Nylén, Municipal Commissioner and 1st Vice Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board, and Anna-Britta Åkerlind, the opposition’s Municipal Commissioner and 2nd Vice Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board, were among the guests from Örnsköldsvik. They were highly delighted with the Vaasa Region, businesses and hospitality
“We’ve learned about many interesting things these past days,” states Mr Per Nylén, Municipal Commissioner and 1st Vice Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board. “Everybody has been most hospitable, and we have every reason to return.”
He is echoed by Ms Anna-Britta Åkerlind, the opposition’s Municipal Commissioner and 2nd Vice Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board.
“It has been an interesting trip, and it has also been quite nice to focus on regional questions and be reminded of their importance,” she adds.
As a last number, the Managing Director of NLC-Ferry/Wasaline, Mr Peter Ståhlberg, gave a presentation to the committee onboard the ferry back to Sweden.
Director of the Kvarken Council, Mathias Lindström, talking to Jens Österberg, Wel-Mach’s Chairman of the Board
Text and photo: Anna Sand