CVC Acquires Market Leader in Time Planning

CVC Capital Partners concluded an outstandingly active 1997 with its second Danish lead. Just before Christmas, the group’s Swedish office closed a GBP58 million (ecu 87 million) buyout of Time/System International (TSI) from quoted Finnish sporting goods group Amer, which is refocusing on its core business.

TSI, which specialises in time planning systems, is headquartered in Copenhagen, and owns subsidiaries in Germany, Denmark, the UK, Sweden, Italy and Finland. Its range of tools for the middle management and professional markets includes paper-based planning systems, PC software and electronic products. The company also provides training and consultancy services. TSI sells its products in 30 countries worldwide, with Europe, where it is market leader in the planning systems sector, representing around 90% of turnover. In 1996, TSI made pre-tax profits of DKr 75 million (ecu 10 million) on sales of DKr 374 million.

CVC took a fixed 85% holding. The management team, led by president Ole Dahl and finance director Flemming Allerup, owns the balance. Senior debt and working capital facilities were arranged by Unibank.

Johan Bjurstrom of CVC Capital Partners Svenska said that CVC views TSI as a probable flotation candidate, since at present the group sees “no natural industrial buyer” for the business. Going forward, the new owners will be aiming to grow TSI’s top line, which has been static for two years, by improving distribution systems and increasing penetration in existing markets and moving into new geographic markets. Growing the software systems side is also a priority: currently, paper-based systems account for around 85% of TSI’s turnover. However, the group is now poised to begin a more aggressive sales programme for its software products, whose credibility should be substantially enhanced by recent orders of over 5,000 units each from two major Continental European corporations.