CapMan looks to deliver Niemi beyond Finland; Atos confirms buyer interest

Niemi’s growth will be centred around organic expansion, according to Tuomas Rinne, partner at CapMan Special Situations.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the Dealflow.

Logistics and energy are the focus of our deal coverage today, while we also take a look at some potential interest in a French tech firm and hear some reaction to the UK getting its third prime minister of the year.

Logistically speaking. First up, PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm takes a deeper look at CapMan’s purchase of Niemi. CapMan Special Situations announced an investment in Finnish moving and logistics services company Niemi Services in late September and the deal was finalised in mid-October.

CapMan sees potential for Niemi to expand beyond its home country’s borders, Tuomas Rinne, partner at CapMan Special Situations, told Nina.

“Niemi is such an interesting company, easily a market leader in Finland, with a promising growth path,” Rinne said. “That path includes the possibility of growing outside Finland.”

Helsinki-headquartered Niemi provides corporate, private and international removals. It also offers a range of other logistics services: events management, delivery and assembly logistics, and expo services.

Niemi’s growth will be centred around organic expansion, according to Rinne. “But we might look at potential add-on acquisitions,” he said. Many Finns are familiar with Niemi’s ‘red moving boxes’, but CapMan sees potential for add-ons to all of Niemi’s offering. “Niemi has many segments, not just the moving services,” Rinne added.

You can read more about what attracted CapMan to Niemi and its wider special situations strategy by reading Nina’s full story here.

Keep on truckin’. Sticking with Nordic logistics, Mutares announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire all the shares of Götene, Sweden-headquartered Götene Kyltransporter. The company is a temperature-controlled logistics provider and is the second-add on acquisition of Mutares portfolio company Frigoscandia in 2022, following the acquisition of Danish logistics company Polar Frakt in April.

Götene Kyltransporter, which has a long-standing relationship with Helsingborg, Sweden-headquartered sustainable food logistics supplier Frigoscandia, employs approximately 250 people.

“This transaction is a perfect example of our local M&A deal sourcing,” said Johannes Laumann, CIO of Mutares. “Within two years we have established a well-known presence in the Nordic market from which we can now profit, and which helps us to further grow our business. With Frigoscandia we pursue an active buy and build strategy and this add-on is part of the company’s strategy to offer complete supply chain management services to the food industry.”

Tech charge. French tech firm Atos confirmed in a statement that it has been approached by several potential buyers for its Tech Foundations business, although the “possibility that such a mark of interest results in a transaction is very uncertain”.

The statement was in response to reports in the French press that there was interest in the unit. French newsletter La Lettre de L’Expansion reported on Monday that Apollo Global Management and Cerberus Capital Management were interested.

Atos is headquartered in Bezons and has annual revenues of €11 billion. It says it is the number one firm in Europe for cybersecurity, cloud and high-performance computing, and that it services all industries in 71 countries.

Its Tech Foundations unit was formed in February and “bundles Atos’ asset-intensive activities and will regroup activities reaching maturity such as data centre and hosting, digital workplace, unified communication and collaboration as well as business process outsourcing”.

Good business, bad balance sheet. Switching back to special situations for a moment, yesterday I spoke to a private equity manager who uses the strategy who told me that the soaring cost of energy is likely to create more and more opportunities for his firm.

The energy crisis can put a good business in a crisis mode, with which his capital can help, he told me. Such “good business, bad balance sheet” opportunities could come back into fashion, he suggested, also thanks to the rising cost of debt.

Powering up. Speaking of energy, yesterday we wrote about Ørsted announcing it had closed a deal with Energy Capital Partners to divest a 50 percent ownership stake in a portfolio of three onshore wind farms and one solar farm in the US.

The deal was valued at approximately $410 million. Ørsted will be the managing member of the partnership and will provide asset management services to the projects.

Check out the full coverage here.

In other energy news, CVC announced it has signed an agreement to acquire 50 percent of Gridspertise from Enel Group. The company, headquartered in Rome, is an energy transition enabler that provides hardware, software and services to electricity infrastructure operators with an aim to help them transition from traditional electricity distribution grids into smart grids.

The company is owned by Enel Group through Enel Grids, a private electricity distribution operator also based in Rome.

See the full coverage of that deal here.

Taking charge. We’ve written quite a bit about the turmoil in UK markets, which has not been helped by the even greater turmoil at the heart of government.

Well, as of yesterday the UK has its third prime minister of the year in Rishi Sunak. He should bring some stability to the country, according to Tom Douie, CEO and founder of PM Alpha, a digital marketplace for asset and wealth managers.

Sunak was the “only viable option” said Douie in an emailed statement. “It remains to be seen what policies he announces, but based on his initial leadership campaign, it will be fiscal prudence first and a longer-term growth/tax-reduction plan,” he added. “The resultant market stability will be helpful for the overall investment environment. A stronger pound will contribute to an easing of the cost-of-living crisis/inflation.

“Sunak’s experience in financial services, the markets and as chancellor will provide a positive backdrop to private enterprise in general and private markets in particular, as he will seek to realise some benefits from Brexit and encourage both domestic and international inward investment to UK plc. UK companies are on sale cheap thanks to the weak pound and historically high dry powder in private equity funds, especially in the US, will attract a lot of interest in the UK.”

The increasing interest in UK assets – particularly by US firms with the advantage of the strong dollar – is something we’ve written about at length.

Check out some of that coverage here.

That’s it from me – we’ll chat again tomorrow.