1982 was a year of intense development for our company. We laid the foundation for our future expansion, and we initiated a strategically important business acquisition—namely, the Upsala-Ekeby group. The development was also very positive for current operations. In October, we could inaugurate the Skyline Hotel in Malmö. The hotel property had at that time experienced a comprehensive renovation, and the establishment of the hotel aroused great interest within the industry as well as outside of it. The opening of the hotel was supported by an advertising campaign that had a great impact both through its scope and its almost aggressive format. Proventus was hoping that the hotel investments would generate a great deal of capital for the group at the same time as the hotel property’s low collateral would allow space for significant efforts in other areas. The company’s total investments in the hotel to this point had been 40 million SEK, of which 12 million SEK were in the 1981 budget. For our contribution, we received 270 modern rooms; the cost per room was 150,000 SEK. Considering these low capital costs, therefore, the hotel engagement already provided a return of 8 million SEK in 1983 after interest and depreciation. For Proventus, the Skyline project was the successful refinement of a building with great potential. We where counting on having a great use for this refinement competency for future projects.

Strategic Purchase

Proventus’ other branch of activity was capital assets and, up through November, included the buying and selling of shares in several publicly-traded Swedish companies. In December, we carried out a strategic purchase of 25 percent of the shares of the Upsala-Ekeby group. This was the prelude to a more long-term cooperation between Proventus and Upsala Ekeby announced in spring 1983. Our aim was to develop the various and most interesting operating segments of Upsala-Ekeby with the help of Proventus’ financial capacity. I do not consider these Proventus resources, in the form of leadership or capital capacity, to be exhausted even in the short term through the establishment of the Skyline Hotel and the acquisition of Upsala Ekeby. The constellation of shared knowledge that existed around our company, on our board, and in otherwise related companies was abled to be utilized significantly in the future. Our ambitions where far from the simple buying and selling of shares. The company’s competency in the capital market and its great financial strength, relatively speaking, was supplied to other companies judged to have a potential for development.

High Financial Preparedness

The experiences that Proventus gained through its work within several larger and smaller businesses in various branches was utilized and transformed into possibilities for the future. We worked purposefully to initiate changes in companies where we could make a contribution. Our company continued to be characterized by an unconventional spirit, the shortest possible decision-making channels, and minimal bureaucracy. It was my assessment that in the coming years, the Swedish stock exchange would not offer any possibilities for spectacular gains and our actions would therefore align with this assessment. Proventus’ strategy for the future was to maintain high financial and liquid preparedness. In those items we deem interesting, we liked, with the support of high solidarity and liquidity, to be able to show great perseverance. We did not need to demand an immediately high profit level. To compensate for loss of profits, we placed demands on a higher average return in the long run from the companies we did business with. We believed in the future—and wanted to invest in it.

Robert Weil