Norvestor takes over Intera stake in Rantalainen; MiddleGround latest PE firm to expand in Europe

Intera Partners invested in Rantalainen in 2018 and the firm has seen its revenue increase over two-fold to more than €100 million during the ownership.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with Tuesday’s Dealflow.

We’ve got another deal from the Nordics this morning, adding to a steady flow of action we’ve seen from that region so far this year. This latest deal involved Norvestor taking a majority stake in a financial administration services provider from Intera Partners. Elsewhere, we look at US private equity firm MiddleGround opening a European office, Ardian taking a majority stake in a customer experience service provider and Waterland Private Equity buying into a strategic communications company.

Handover. Norvestor has become the new majority stakeholder in Rantalainen Group, a financial administration services provider, after Intera Partners announced its exit from the company.

Rantalainen, established in 1972, employs 1,200 professionals across over 60 offices in Finland and Sweden.

Intera Partners invested in Rantalainen in 2018 and the firm has seen its revenue increase over two-fold to more than €100 million during the ownership. The firm managed around 60 acquisitions and expanded its operations to Sweden.

“Rantalainen has exceeded the goals we set together at the beginning of our ownership,” said Juhana Kallio, managing partner of Intera. “The company now has a great opportunity to take its next steps in internationalisation and growth with Norvestor as a partner.”

It’s been a busy start to the year in Nordic private equity.

As well as the battle between Bain Capital and Triton Partners for control of Finnish construction firm Caverion, we’ve written about Main Capital portfolio firm Optimizers buying Swedish ecommerce firm Vendre, Fernweh Group and its portfolio company Dabico Corporation completing the acquisition of FMT Sweden and FMT International Trade and FSN Capital and Verdane investing around €135 million in Denmark’s Polytech, a designer of systems to protect and enhance wind turbines.

European push. We’ve written a fair amount about US private equity firms growing their presence in Europe since we launched PE Hub Europe about six months ago – including Thoma Bravo opening a London office – and we have more on that front this morning.

Lexington, Kentucky-based MiddleGround, a private equity firm managing more than $3.3 billion of assets, is looking to Europe with the opening of an office in Amsterdam.

The firm has hired Alexander van der Have, Anthony Denaix and Robert Jonkers to oversee the European strategy. They will report directly to John Stewart, MiddleGround’s founding partner.

“We have already established a strong foothold in Europe, and the official launch of our European office marks the next stage of growth for our firm,” said Stewart in a statement.

Check out our full coverage to learn more about MiddleGround’s European team and its overall growth over the last year.

Customer experience. Ardian has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake of around 60 percent in Assist Digital, an international firm that offers end-to-end customer experience services.

Assist Digital, headquartered in Milan, has offices in Italy, France, Germany, UK, Spain and Netherlands.

Progressio SGR will divest its minority stake in Assist Digital.

Assist Digital’s management team, headed by president and founder Enrico Donati and CEO Francesca Gabrielli, will maintain around 40 percent of the company alongside Ardian. BNP Paribas, a minority shareholder, will also reinvest via its subsidiary BNL.

Read more about the deal here, including Assist Digital’s latest financials and turnover target.

Comms. Waterland Private Equity has secured a majority stake in Markettiers4DC (M4DC), a network of tech-enabled, data-driven, broadcast activated, strategic communications agencies.

M4DC, headquartered in London, was established in 1994. The firm employs 150 people in the UK and the UAE.

This acquisition will support M4DC in its international growth goals, particularly expanding its presence in the North American market, the firms said.

M4DC operates in the global communications market, worth £69 billion ($85.4 billion; €78.7 billion), and growing at 7-10 percent per annum.

Read our full coverage to find out more on M4DC’s growth over the last few years.

That’s it from me – I’ll be back with you tomorrow.