Level-headed Swede with lots to wrap up

CHARTER International’s chairman Lars Emilson was thrown briefly back into the executive seat last month after the engineering group’s chief executive issued a third profit warning and resigned.

Formerly the chief executive of packaging giant Rexam, Emilson now faces the task of calming mutinous shareholders while bedding in a new chief executive and executing a hefty restructuring strategy.

But the level-headed Swede has spent his whole working life in manufacturing firms, has 30 years’ strategy experience and has hands-on experience of takeovers.

He launched his career with PLM, a fast-growing packaging maker in his native Sweden, and moved from recycling products to plastic and cans, and to the US and back. He lived through three large M&As by PLM – its takeover by Rexam in 1999 and Rexam’s purchases of American National Can and Brazil’s Latasa.

Emilson is circumspect about support for Melrose, aware that he retains the backing of some investors and believes it is worth more than offered. But after almost four years with Charter, he may find now is the right time to wrap up and hand it to a new owner.