Our history

The day the future came to Grimsås


Tavla Karl Olssom
Karl Olsson, the founder of the company, now has pride of place in the boardroom.

Karl Olsson was in business even during the first world war. Unfortunately things didn't work out for him in the peat business so he had to take a job in his father's bank. Everything changed when the second world war ended. This was partly thanks to an acquaintance of Karl's who had contacts in America, something that was not very common at the time in a small place like Grimsås. They talked about the future – which consisted of machinery for plastics processing. It was 1948 and Karl decided to invest in plastic-insulated cable. IKO Kabelfabrik AB was established. I for Industry, K for Karl and O for Olsson. The first year's turnover was 139,000 Swedish kronor. Today, 70 years later, the company is called Nexans Sweden AB and has a turnover of over 2 billion Swedish kronor.


Karl's courage, curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit live on in the company to this day. There is a drive to constantly develop new products, and a belief that we can do everything that bit better. From the choice of material to innovations making the product more efficient, safer and easier to work with. We prefer to beat our own track rather than following in other people's footsteps. Perhaps that explains why we now make around 1,000 types of cable, many of them patented. We are also part of a global network of more than 25,000 cable experts throughout the world. This obviously benefits us, but it is also valuable to you as our customer. It gives us access to cutting-edge expertise, experience and product development.

Grimsås is close to everything. Staying close to our customers is a big part of our philosophy. Wherever they are in the world. We realise how important it is to have your questions answered by experts and to know that your products will always arrive at the right place and on time.

We receive orders from companies operating in electricity and telecoms networks, roads, railways, shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotive, electronics, material handling and automation. They all made an active choice for quality, cost-effectiveness and durability. Not forgetting sustainability. That word is overused at the moment, but it has been a guiding principle for us for six decades.

We live in a complex world, but we always work hard to stay down to earth and straightforward. We want to help our customers have a good day at work. That's how we got where we are today. And how we'll get where we're going.

We are now called Nexans, from the Latin word nexus which means connection. As Nexans we are helping to create the world's connections for power transmission and telecommunication. But for us in Sweden there is always a connection back to Karl Olsson and his company.



Karl Olsson bought the company's first extruder in 1947, naming it Johanna.

The first office was shared with a mechanical workshop.

Nexans-tornet, en välkänd siluett i Grimsås
The landmark feature of the factory, its 54 metre tower, was completed in 1968, for PEX cable production. The tower is no longer used as part of the production process.
The company also operates as a logistics centre for Nexans products arriving from all four corners of the world.

Nexans' coordination centre for ribbon cable is located in Grimsås.

This is a state-of-the-art materials laboratory developing products such as halogen free, fire resistant and flame retardant materials.