Published 30 June 2009

Foreign controlled enterprises in Sweden, 2008

More than 12 000 foreign controlled enterprises in Sweden.

Foreign control of enterprises increased in Sweden with about 900 enterprises in 2008. This increase means that for the first time there are more than 12 000 foreign controlled enterprises in Sweden. The number of employees in the foreign controlled enterprises increased with 8 395 persons, which was a smaller increase compared to last year’s investigation. In total, there was 12 861 foreign controlled enterprises with 620 721 employees in 2008.

Acquisitions are the most common form to establish a foreign controlled enterprise in Sweden. In total, 48 percent of the stock of foreign controlled enterprises became foreign controlled through acquisitions. New establishments (greenfields) are the next most common reason behind an enterprise becoming foreign controlled. About 28 percent of the enterprises became foreign controlled in this way.

Norwegian ownership increases
For the third year in a row Norway was the country that accounted for the largest increase of foreign controlled enterprises in Sweden. The increase of Norwegian ownership between 2007 and 2008 was 337 enterprises. The next largest increase had Luxemburg with 114 enterprises. Norway is the country that controls the largest amount of enterprises in Sweden (1 985 enterprises), followed by United Kingdom (1 373 enterprises) and Denmark (1 335 enterprises). The biggest controlling country with regard to the number of employees is USA with 101 700 employees. United Kingdom and Finland follow next with 74 027 and 63 186 employees, respectively.

Foreign ownership is concentrated to the big city regions
Foreign ownership is continued to be concentrated to the big city regions. Out of the total number of foreign owned establishments in Sweden, 34 percent were located in Stockholm county, 16 percent in Västra Götaland county and 14 percent in Skåne county. The largest increase also occurred in these counties. In Stockholm, Västra Götaland's and Skåne counties, the number increased with 409, 162 and 213 establishments, respectively.

A few large enterprises provide most employment
Of the foreign controlled enterprises in 2008, 87 percent were small with fewer than 50 employees in Sweden. These enterprises, however, accounted only for 12 per cent of employees in foreign controlled enterprises. Large enterprises with 250 or more employees accounted for 4 per cent of all foreign controlled enterprises, but their share of employment was 67 per cent of all employees in foreign controlled enterprises. This has remained largely unchanged compared to previous years. The smaller foreign controlled enterprises had a larger proportion of their employees within the service sector compared to the large foreign controlled enterprises, which were more evenly distributed between manufacturing industry and the service sector.

Title
Foreign controlled enterprises in Sweden, 2008

Serial number
Statistics 2009:01

Download the report in SwedishPDF