Sponsor Capital exceeds target

Finnish buyout specialist, Sponsor Capital has achieved a first and final closing of its second buyout fund at EURO107 million, exceeding its EURO100 million target. The fund will focus on generalist investments of between EURO5 million and EURO50 million in Finnish companies, but will also look for opportunities in the surrounding Scandinavian countries.

Juuso Kivinen, investment manager, said: “We see non-core industries of large companies, generation changes in family businesses and industry restructurings as potential investment opportunities in the future.”

Sponsor Capital’s first fund was launched in 1997 and is almost fully invested. It raised EURO100 million from Finnish institutions and has achieved three successful realisations so far. These include the IPOs of Teleste and Exel and the sale of Ensto last year. Kivinen said the fund’s active portfolio companies, Indoor Group, Saunatec and Bravida are all doing well and so the firm is able to concentrate on new projects.

Last year, the firm expanded its team with two new partners, Kaj Hgglund and Rolf Saxberg. Hgglund joined the team from his previous position as the managing director of Nordea’s Finnish investment bank and Saxberg from the AG Partners investment bank.

In 2001, around EURO344 million was invested in 432 investments in Finland, according to preliminary figures from the Finnish Venture Capital Association. This was down by value from EURO384 million in 2000, but was up by number from 398. Funds raised witnessed a slow down with EURO412 million in 2001 compared to EURO570 million in 2000. However, divestments were on the up in 2001 with 111, valued at EURO108 million, compared to 109 valued at EURO81 million in 2000.