CapMan celebrates fund close

Nordic buyout house CapMan is celebrating the New Year with the close of its largest offering to date CapMan Equity VII at €253.3 million. CapMan now has €1.67 billion under management. Of this, €1.14 billion is allocated for direct investments in portfolio companies in the Nordic region and €527 million is managed by CapMan’s affiliate company, Access Capital Partners for European fund investments.

The fund’s investor base is Nordic, as is the investment focus of the fund itself. Twenty-three institutional investors have committed to the fund with 42 per cent from Finnish investors and 58 per cent from the rest of the Nordic region. Over 70 per cent of the capital is from Nordic pension funds and life insurance companies. About half of the capital is from new investors. CapMan has committed €16 million of its own capital to the fund.

Ari Tolpannen, CapMan CEO, said: “In spite of the difficult fund raising environment this year, we have succeeded in raising the largest fund in the history of CapMan. We are very pleased with the end result of the fund raising, both in terms of the amount of commitments and their geographical distribution.”

The investment strategy of CapMan Equity VII is in line with that of CapMan’s previous funds. Around two-thirds of the capital will be invested in mid-sized buyouts and the remaining third in technology companies. All investments will be in the Nordic region. The fund has already completed several deals including RGS90 A/S, a Danish waste management company; Tieturi Oy, a Finnish provider of IT training; Avitec AB, a Swedish supplier of repeaters and repeater systems to improve radio coverage; and Nordkalk Corporation, a producer of limestone-based products in Northern Europe.

CapMan recently restructured its business activities to emphasise its pan-Nordic focus. The acquisition of Nordic Private Equity in Denmark in 2001 and Swedestart Management in Sweden in February 2002 was the catalyst for the firm’s consolidation of its activity within the Nordic markets.

CapMan has a workforce of 70 spread across the Nordic capitals of Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. The new structure comprises three business units (buyout, technology and life science) and two support units (group finance and administration and group development) in each country.

Other buyout houses targeting the region are Industri Kapital, EQT and Nordic Capital, although these players are looking at the larger scale deals.