He is one of the few who can bear the concept of "crazy entrepreneur" with dignity, respect and seriousness. The Italian Salvatore Grimaldi landed in Sweden in the 1950s and was met by a welcoming country which has been one of the foundations of his success.
There has always been a constant and mutual relationship of love between Salvatore Grimaldi, Sweden and Italy.
With his approach to everything being possible, Salvatore has more or less unknowingly created the image of the fearless and aspiring business leader.
Already as a young person, the surroundings realized that the entrepreneurial ability and willingness to work hard to achieve success existed within Salvatore Grimaldi. Additional jobs as newspaper delivery man and assisting at the petrol station were interspersed with the permanent job at Volvo in the small town of Köping. With his precision knowledge as a turner, he realized that many Swedish industrial companies called for that particular skill. It was then that the opportunity appeared, the one which can be said to be the beginning of the empire: a grinder, purchased on installment for SEK 8,000.
In the garage at home in Köping, his endeavor to succeed, start new businesses, make the impossible possible and work harder than everyone else began.
The fearlessness was already there, then in the 1960s, in Salvatore’s DNA. The grinder was replaced by a larger, better. With his industrial skills, the love of working hard and the desire to strive for the next level the journey began. In 1970 he started Grimaldis Mekaniska Verkstad AB and the rest is a well-written success story.
Milestones in history
Grimaldis Mekaniska Verkstad AB is founded in Köping by Salvatore Grimaldi. The company is a subcontractor of components for the automotive industry.
Several companies in the engineering industry are acquired, including Karlsson Spools, Kohlswa Gety and AG Johansson’s Metallfabrik.
The Grimaldi group is restructured and Grimaldi Industri AB becomes the parent company. The company buys Toolex Alpha AB and, after restructuring, becomes one of the world’s leading suppliers of machines that manufacture CD-discs.
Grimaldi Industri AB starts Metpump AB to develop a pump for molten metal.
Grimaldi Industri AB sells 70% of the shares in Toolex Alpha to investors, the company staff, NatWest Ventures Investments Ltd, Citicorp Capital Investors Europe Ltd and CVC Capital Partners Europe Ltd.
Grimaldi Industri AB acquires a majority stake in VenCap Industrier AB, an investment company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. VenCap Industrier buys a majority stake in Monark Stiga AB, which manufactures bicycles, lawn mowers and exercise bikes. VenCap’s other holdings are sold.
Toolex Alpha is listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in New York. Grimaldi Industri AB reduces ownership of Toolex Alpha to 10% of the shares.
Grimaldi Industri AB buys the Italian bicycle company FIV E Bianchi, the Danish bike brand Everton Smith and the French cycling group Cycleurope with famous brands such as Peugeot and Gitane. Grimaldi Industri AB buys the remaining shares in VenCap Industrier AB.
Cycleurope AB and Monark Exercise AB become wholly owned subsidiaries of Grimaldi Industri AB. 51% of Stiga AB, the lawnmower operations, is sold to UBS Capital.
Stiga merges with the Italian Castelgarden SpA, leading manufacturer of lawn mowers in Europe and the Italian Alpina Professional & Garden SpA, manufacturer of chainsaws and clearing saws. A majority share in the training company Contento is acquired.
3Nine is founded and Grimaldi Industri AB acquires a majority stake.
Stiga and Castelgarden change their name to Global Garden Products (GGP). Contento’s remaining shares are bought.
Remaining shares in Global Garden Products are sold.
Plockmatic International is acquired. Karlsson Spools establishes a subsidiary in Kunshan, China.
A new concept store Bianchi Café & Cycles opens in Stockholm, Sweden. Contento Svenska AB merges with Wassum and the company Contento Wassum Academy AB is established.
FIV E Bianchi SpA acquires 37% of the Australian company SOLA, Sport Outdoor Leisure Australia Pty Ltd.
Plockmatic International acquires Morgana Systems UK Ltd. Bianchi Café & Cycles opens in Malmö, Sweden.
Bianchi Café & Cycles opens in Västerås, Sweden and Milan, Italy.
Bianchi Café & Bikes opens in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Plockmatic International acquires the Italian company, KGS Srl. FIV E Bianchi SpA acquires the remainder of the company SOLA Ltd.
Grimaldi Industri AB enters as a 20% ownership in Eataly Stockholm, an Italian concept with a food store and restaurants. Grimaldi Industri AB acquires a majority stake in Cykelkonsulterna AB. Plockmatic International acquires a competitor, Watkiss Automation Ltd.
Some of Salvatore Grimaldi’s awards
1989 receives the Gold Medal of the Swedish Patriotic Society for his fruitful actions in the Swedish business community.
1996 is awarded the Institute of Immigration’s honorary prize for his contribution to the development of the Swedish industry.
1997 is appointed Leader of the Year by PA Consulting and the magazine Affärsvärlden.
1998 is awarded the Italian industry leader prize St. Cataldo and was named Boss of the Year by the Italian city of Taranto.
2001 is awarded the nomination Best Leader by Ernst & Young / Entrepreneur of the Year 2001.
2001 is awarded the nomination Grande Ufficiale by the Italian Republic.
2003 is awarded the Royal Medal of the 8th Size for a distinguished career as an entrepreneur and business leader.
2004 is appointed Honorary Doctor at the University of Mälardalen in Västerås.
2004 is elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences.
2004 is elected to Chairman of Företagarna.
2004 is awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences for an inspiring industrial entrepreneurship and charismatic leadership.
2008 is elected to the Västmanland Academy initiated by the county governor.
2009 is chosen by the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament to hold the speech to the nation on Sweden’s National Day June 6.
2011 is elected to the Royal Patriotic Society.
2018 is awarded the Italian prize Premio Axel Munthe for his exemplary contribution to the relations between Sweden and Italy.
2019 is awarded the medal Cavaliere del Lavoro by the Italian President for his contribution to Italy’s industry.