6 PE-backed deals that travelled to the Nordics

Cinven, CVC and Nordic Capital are among PE firms seeing potential in Nordic companies.

Private equity firms are not afraid of the cold. In the first half of the year, they invested €5.8 billion in Nordic buyout deals, according to a number crunch report by Norwegian asset manager Argentum.

Over the last few months, PE Hub Europe covered many PE deals with Nordic targets. Here are six recent deals that caught our attention (in reverse chronological order):

1. Cinven reinvests in group.ONE alongside Ontario Teachers’

In December, Cinven announced that the Seventh Cinven Fund, in partnership with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, had agreed to acquire and combine group.ONE and dogado Group.

Based in Malmö, Sweden, group.ONE offers online presence services via mass hosting and business software products to small-and medium-sized enterprises and small-office home-offices.

Dogado is a provider of online presence services in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, offering mass and cloud hosting and digital marketing services to more than 380,000 customers. The company is headquartered in Dortmund.

The Sixth Cinven Fund acquired group.ONE, formerly one.com, in February 2019. Under Cinven’s ownership, group.ONE completed 10 add-on acquisitions. The company’s EBITDA more than trebled over the past four years, according to Cinven.

“We see the combined business as a great fit for our European private capital portfolio given group.ONE and dogado’s leading positions in their respective markets and resilient subscription-based business models,” said Jean-Charles Douin, senior managing director, private capital for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Ontario Teachers’.

2. HitecVision invests in Cadre

In early November, HitecVision invested in Norwegian small-scale hydropower company Cadre, alongside Nordkraft.

Small-scale hydropower plants in Norway generate an average combined production of just under 13TWh of power annually. Kristiansand-headquartered Cadre’s target is to produce 2TWh within a few years.

“The need for rapid development of more renewable power is obvious,” said Eirik Frantzen, CEO of Nordkraft. “Even Norway is experiencing a new era, with both an increase in power demand and extreme prices. This provides an important backdrop for Cadre’s growth plans in small-scale hydropower.”

3. CVC and Nordic Capital acquire Cary Group

Also in October, CVC and Nordic Capital completed their acquisition of Cary Group. Cary Group, formerly Ryds Bilglas, is a European vehicle glass repair and replacement provider.

The Stockholm-headquartered company has customers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Luxembourg and Austria.

Between 2018 and 2021, Cary Group deployed an accelerated M&A strategy to expand outside Sweden. CVC and Nordic see opportunity across the fragmented European market for Cary Group to accelerate its expansion further.

4. CapMan backs Fennoa

In October, CapMan Growth announced that it had invested in Fennoa, a developer and provider of cloud-based financial management software used by accounting firms and their clients. Finnish pension insurance company Ilmarinen invested in the Helsinki-based company alongside CapMan.

In the last few years, the company’s revenue and profitability has increased tenfold, according to CapMan. Through the last three years the company has grown at a compound annual growth rate exceeding 100 percent, the firm added.

5. Cinven acquires Säkra

In early September, Cinven announced it had agreed to acquire Säkra from Adelis Equity Partners via its inaugural Strategic Financials Fund (SFF).

Säkra is a Stockholm-based insurance broker, providing life and non-life insurance products, as well as pension and wealth management services.

“The investment is supported by a resilient underlying market in Sweden and is well-positioned to grow organically, with further upside through its demonstrated M&A trajectory,” said said Luigi Sbrozzi, partner and co-head of the SFF. “Säkra offers a high-quality scalable platform, with associated benefits for clients as the business develops and expands over the long term.”

6. Accent Equity reinvests in Inteno Group

In mid-August, Accent Equity announced that a consortium, led by Accent Equity 2017 fund, had agreed to acquire Inteno Group from Accent Equity 2012 and a number of minority shareholders. The consortium comprises Unigestion, Simac Techniek and Inteno Group’s management.

Headquartered in Stockholm, Inteno Group is a developer and provider of fibre products, powered by an open-source operating system and software platform.

Daniel Winberg, partner and investment manager at Accent Equity, told PE Hub Europe about the firm’s plans to expand Inteno into markets with low fibre penetration, such as Germany, the UK, Italy and parts of Eastern Europe.

“The fibre rollout in Europe is at very different maturity levels,” Winberg explained. “In the Nordics, fibre is well established, whereas other markets are very much in the early rollout phase.”

Interest in the Nordic region is unlikely to fade out anytime soon, and PE Hub Europe expects to see more deals targeting the region in the future.