Sunday, 4 November 2012

Joepie, 1979: A headquarter in the ambassadors district

There are four nameplates at the gates of the ABBA headoffice in Laerkstaden, the ambassadors district of Stockholm: Polar Music International, Sweden Music, Reuter & Reuter Foerlag and Sannes Trading. These are only four of ABBA's many companies. The group has invested a lot of money. In the headquarter, Stikkan Anderson, seated behind his far too spacious desk, is making all the decisions.

The various properties of the ABBA millionaires in a row. 1. The most capital villa is reserved for the married couple Stikkan Anderson. 2. The headquarter in the ambassadors district of Stockholm. From this location, Stikkan is reigning over the ABBA empire. 3. The villa on the island Lidingö where Agnetha is residing since her divorce. 4. Björn's new home, situated on the island Lidingö as well, that belongs to the fancy district of the Swedish capital. 5. Benny and Anni-Frid are living on the same island too, in this salmon coloured manor-house. 6. For 210 million, ABBA bought this former sports hall at Sankt Eriksgatan in Stockholm, where their state-of-the-art recording studios are now established. 7. The 'Commerce' warehouse in Skövde: supermarkets, boutiques, restaurants, a dry cleaner and a hairdresser. 8. Also in Skövde, they own this office building. The 'Handelsbanken' are the most important tenants. 9. ABBA is also the owner of the ICA-Norrhallen in the same region. 10. In Lidköping, they own this ultra modern shopping mall, called 'Särnmarkshuset'. 11. In this building, their art trading company 'AH Grafik' is located, although it doesn't make them much money yet. But these aren't the only properties of the five ABBAs, as you will read further on in this edition.

Proportionally, the ABBA company is the most profitable company in Sweden and apart from that it's growing faster than any other company. Three years in a row, Polar Music International has made a pure profit of 50 million Swedish Krona (23 million Dutch Guilders) and Anderson is looking for opportunities to expand their turn-over, and especially their profit.
Sannes Trading was one of those possibilities. That company was set up especially for trading activities with the Eastern countries. Stikkan blames it on bureaucracy that the trading isn't running that prosperously yet. As long as he doesn't succeed yet in selling 25 million copies of every ABBA album in Russia, he is setting his sights on other activities: investing in stocks, shares and real estate. He prefers to invest the ABBA money in companies that aren't too labour-intensive, with large profit possibilities.
Real estate is an excellent opportunity. In Skoevde in the south of Sweden, ABBA now owns three large buildings: two big shopping malls and a huge office building. Not far from that area, in Lidköping, ABBA is the owner of an ultra modern, indoor shopping mall with adjoining office building. The ABBA members themselves are living in majestic palaces too. These mansions are being administered by the ABBA empire as well. Fiscally, that's more profitable.

"Relatively speaking, we don't spend a lot of money on ourselves," Stikkan claims. If the ABBA members should decide to spend more money, they would have to pay even more taxes than the 85 percent that the Swedish tax collector is receiving now already. The tax situation in Sweden is unfavourable to huge, multi-million companies like ABBA's. Eluding these taxes would be simple by moving to a tax paradise, like tennis player Björn Borg did.
But according to Stikkan, ABBA isn't even thinking about eluding their taxes. The fear that ABBA's popularity would suffer is playing an important part there. But it seems even more important that the Swedish legislation forbids people living abroad to own a couple of companies and real estate in this country. That would mean that the whole empire would have to be dismantled and that's almost impossible.

But Anderson isn't coping very well with the tax situation. "Nobody wants to work in this country any longer because of these high taxes. And working extra hours is out of the question, because then you have to pay extra taxes. Of course, it's the socialists who make up legislation like that in this country." That's why Stikkan has voted conservatively in the latest Parliamentary elections, just like the other ABBA members. "Do you know what I think about making up legislation like that?" Dumb maybe? "Dumb? Dumb? That's putting it very mildly. It's complete insanity."


Monica said...

Thank you for the translation, Michel.

Anonymous said...

Hej Michel
I havent been around the blogs for a while due too private reasons i havent had time,Anyway just wanted too say i do visit when i can and i still enjoy all the articles /pics ect...thanks for all your time and effort

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