Capman celebrates restaurant sale

Finnish buyout champion Capman has realised its investment in Royal-Rest Oy, Finland’s largest private restaurant corporation. Royal-Rest Oy will become a wholly owned subsidiary of MK-Rest Oy. Scandic Hotels has also sold its shares in the group. Details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the exit has provided Capman with a profitable return.

Markus Sjholm, partner at CapMan, said: “CapMan’s investment in Royal-Rest Oy has exceeded our initial return objectives and we are very pleased with the new ownership structure.”

The new group of companies has 460 employees and will record a turnover of around EURO58 million in 2002. Kasperi Saari, managing director of Royal-Rest and MK-Rest says the objective is to develop existing business units and establish new ones in selected areas of the Helsinki city centre.

Sjholm said there were originally discussions about going for an IPO, but the group was considered too small and the climate for IPOs too risky. However, the Nordic region is witnessing a slow recovery of the IPO market. While Doughty Hanson was forced to postpone its IPO of Danish wind turbine blades manufacturer LM Glasfiber, Industri Kapital is celebrating a much anticipated exit from Swedish heating equipment manufacturer, Alfa Laval see exit news this issue.

Sjholm said: “We haven’t seen that many IPOs, but this could lead to a slow recovery of the market.” The Royal-Rest exit is timely for Capman, currently fund raising for its seventh fund, CapMan Equity VII, which has reached its first close at EURO166 million. CapMan anticipates a final close by the end of June, but a final target for the fund has not been disclosed.