LKAB Group was founded in 1890 and has since grown to become one of the world’s most prominent producers of highly-upgraded iron ore products, providing millions of tonnes annually to a worldwide market. The company’s subsidiary, LKAB Minerals, was founded in 1989. The company has 350 employees and develops, produces and markets minerals customized for industries worldwide. LKAB Minerals was first established in the U.S. 15 years ago, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The main reason for entering the American market was proximity to clients and flexibility in decision-making that came with it.
Relocation within the U.S. and recruiting new talent
LKAB Minerals needed to grow its U.S. team in order to set a foundation for future growth. When the company decided to relocate from Cincinnati to Chicago, it contacted Business Sweden for assistance with the relocation, as well as recruitment services to help the team expand. LKAB Minerals chose to collaborate with Business Sweden because of market competence, a broad network, and experience in working with similar projects. Peter Mörtlund, president of LKAB Minerals Inc., explains,“We decided to work with Business Sweden when relocating because of its unique combination of competent Swedish and American employees but also because the company offers a wide range of services that we knew we would be able to use in the future.”
Sharing office and knowledge creates trust
Initially, Business Sweden supported LKAB Minerals with office space during the transition period followed by the recruitment of a Senior Accountant. Asli Sungur, project manager at Business Sweden’s Chicago office shares her experiences: “Our collaboration with Peter and the LKAB Minerals team was highly efficient, as we saw them on a day to day basis when sharing the same office space. This way, Business Sweden could get a better understanding of LKAB Minerals’ needs and follow their U.S. journey. LKAB Minerals also gained insight into how Business Sweden works, which was a win-win situation, further building the trust between us.”
Today, LKAB Minerals is headquartered in Chicago with five employees. According to Peter Mörtlund, Business Sweden has been a valuable collaboration partner, mostly due to its broad in-house competence: “It has been very valuable for us to be able to sit side by side with Business Sweden. It has helped us deal with certain issues more quickly and easily, as we got to know the team in a different way. Had we known about the wide variety of services that Business Sweden offers earlier, we probably would have worked with them from the start instead of other external partners.”