November 27, 2019 / 8:47 AM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 2-Mining gear maker Epiroc names Hedblom as new CEO

* Helena Hedblom appointed new Epiroc CEO

* Hedblom was seen as a frontrunner for the CEO job

* Epiroc shares up 1.9% (Adds comments from Chairman and CEO, updates shares, adds background, detail)

STOCKHOLM, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Swedish mining equipment maker Epiroc has appointed Helena Hedblom as CEO of the company, taking over from Per Lindberg in March next year.

Hedblom, who leads Epiroc’s mining and infrastructure business, was widely seen as a top candidate to succeed Lindberg, who helped take the company public last year as it was spun off from Atlas Copco.

“I am convinced, knowing Helena for more than 10 years, that she is the right woman, at the right place, at the right moment,” Chairman Ronnie Leten told a conference call.

“We have a successor who is ready to take the company to the next level”.

Hedblom headed the mining and rock excavation technique business at Atlas Copco before the spin-off.

“We have delivered a strong start for Epiroc, and I’m very much looking forward to continue on this journey together with all the great, passionate people within Epiroc,” Hedblom said.

Lindberg, the former CEO of packaging materials group BillerudKorsnas, was brought in to take the helm at Epiroc in early 2018, with the company highlighting his experience in leading a listed company.

“We, and we believe many investors, saw this transition as both the most likely and most appropriate next move in terms of the President and CEO role,” JP Morgan said in a research note, citing Hedblom’s experience at Epiroc and Atlas Copco, as well as in mining and infrastructure markets in general.

Shares in Epiroc, one of the world’s largest makers of mining equipment such as drill rigs, were up 1.8% by 1029 GMT while rival Sandvik was up 0.1%.

Epiroc’s stock is up 37% in 2019, roughly on par with Sandvik.

Lindberg will also resign from the board when he leaves the CEO job. (Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)

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