MB wins independence

MB Funds, the Finnish buyout firm, has secured its independence from banking group Sampo. The management team of MB Funds has acquired Sampo’s 40 per cent stake in the management company, making it the sole owner.

Juhani Suomela, managing partner of the firm, said the transaction represented a natural step in the firm’s development process and the fund’s investment activities would not change. MB Funds invests up to EURO50 million in buyouts and corporate restructuring processes in the Nordic region. So far 20 investments have been made, including the privatisation of service provider the Engel Group, occupational healthcare company Medivire, Finnish confectioner Panda and Finnish Chemicals, with no write-downs to date.

Mika Ihamuotila, executive vice president of Sampo, said: “From Sampo’s point of view this transaction represents a positive and logical development. Our co-operation will remain strong. We will offer the services of MB Funds to our customers also in the future.” The Finnish financial group will continue to invest in MB’s future funds.

The change in ownership was initiated by the first closing of MB Equity Fund III at EURO96.1 million, which will remain open at least until the autumn. This is the third buyout fund to be raised by the group since 1994, in addition to two mezzanine funds, bringing the firm’s total assets under management to EURO269 million. Sampo is one of the main investors in the most recent fund, with nineteen other Finnish institutional investors, mainly insurance companies and pension funds.