Sonera SmartTrust AB (Sweden)
Investee Company Business Type
Infrastructure software provider
Type of Financing
EQVITEC Partners, GE Equity and The Carlyle Group
Equity Leader (Individual)
Michael Wand, director, The Carlyle Group
Debt Leader (Individual)
Total Deal Value
The Carlyle Group, GE Equity and EQVITEC Partners have signed an agreement to invest euro35 million in Sonera SmartTrust AB. The agreement, which is subject to meeting the terms of the purchase and regulatory approvals, will see the investment syndicate acquire a majority shareholding in the company. Carlyle will invest through the Carlyle Europe Venture Partners fund and leads the syndicate.
Following the completion of the transaction the Sonera Corporation, SmartTrust’s current owner, will retain a 39.3 per cent shareholding in the company.
SmartTrust is a leading provider of infrastructure software, enabling secure e-services to wireless and Internet users. More than 80 mobile operators worldwide are using these solutions to launch enhanced SMS services and manage mobile end-user applications. SmartTrust delivers a complete solution to manage the entire life cycle of the SIM/USIM (from personalisation to over-the-air management) providing services such as roaming management. In addition, more than 150 customers, ranging from Trust Service Providers, banks and financial institutions, government, operators and large enterprises are using SmartTrust products for digital identification and digital signatures.
Antti Vasara, CEO of SmartTrust, said: “We are at a key stage in the development of the company. Mobile operators are increasingly looking at ways to increase ARPU (average revenue per user) and diversify their service offering through the delivery of value-added services. Considering the current, harsh market climate we see this transaction as true endorsement of our value proposition and look forward to supporting our operator customers through the long-term development of their own businesses.
Michael Wand, director, The Carlyle Group, commented: “We were attracted to the business because of SmartTrust’s market leadership position in fast-growing segments of the wireless software space and its reputation for being a technology-driven company with a strong customer base. We expect to help shape SmartTrust’s further development by injecting our experience of growing businesses and maximising long-term value.