Post By: Julia Eriksson

Axel Johnson International AB strengthen the Certex Business Area with acquisition of Certex UK

With effect from the 1st of January 2008 Certex Lifting Ltd, with headquarters in Harworth, UK has been acquired by Forankra International AB. Certex UK will be part of the Certex business area.

Forankra International AB is the leading supplier of lifting and lashing equipment in Europe. The company designs and supplies equipment for material handling, lifting and securing of cargo to trucks, trains, trailers, aircrafts and Ro-Ro vessels. Forankra International AB with a turnover of 220 million Euro and 900 employees is a subsidiary of Axel Johnson International AB. 

CERTEX Business Area focuses on wire rope, lifting products and services. Certex UK together with the existing Certex companies in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia are the market leader in this segment on the European continent. The Certex group has a turnover of 135 million Euro and 500 employees. 

CERTEX UK is one of the UK’s leading distributors of lifting products, services and lashing products, with a turnover of about 20 million Pounds. Customers come from within the manufacturing, steel, construction, offshore, oil, gas, port and shipping industries. The company operates from a newly-opened 48,000 sq ft headquarters in Nottinghamshire backed up by 16 regional lifting centres. The company’s 185 employees provide a national service to local customers who have specific local needs. These are located in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Caerphilly, Erith, Glasgow, Gloucester, Great Yarmouth, Plymouth, Portsmouth/Devonport, Harworth, Southampton, St. Helens, Tyneside and Wakefield.


Sven-Olof Berntsson, Managing Director of Forankra International, states: “Certex UK is a very strong company with experienced staff and I am very pleased to welcome them all into the Forankra International organization.” 

Peter Keith, Regional Managing Director Certex, explains: “Certex UK excels in the supply, maintenance and related training for specialist lifting equipment and we are delighted to be joining forces with them in sourcing new and exciting market opportunities. I have no doubt that Certex UK’s technical expertise and extensive product knowledge will add an invaluable dimension to our Certex organization.”

Certex UK Managing Director, Tony Stringer, comments: Once we began discussions with Forankra International it became apparent that we could benefit from the commercial strength of joining such a prestigious international group without losing out on any of the autonomy and high levels of customer service we enjoy at ground level. Having talked with Forankra International at great length – as well as comparing notes with our sister companies overseas – we are confident that Certex UK will retain its core values bringing only positive change for our customers and staff.”

Certex UK will be operated as previously with its local management team, i.e Tony Stringer will continue as Managing Director, with Charles Gillespie as Director of Sales and Marketing, Kevin Smith as Operations Director and Adrian Tomkinson as Finance Director. The company will operate in the Certex group, reporting to regional managing director Peter Keith.