Herkules IV acquires Olivia AS

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Herkules IV acquires Olivia AS

(Oslo, 22 December 2015) Herkules Private Equity Fund IV has entered into an agreement with Drueklasen AS to acquire Oliva AS, Norway’s largest Italian restaurant chain. Herkules considers Olivia, with its authentic Italian concept, strong brand and successful restaurants, to represent a powerful foundation for further growth and expansion.
Olivia employs more than 200 people in 3 restaurants in Oslo. The company serves authentic Italian food focusing on high quality pasta and pizza dishes as well as various Italian food specialities. Estimated turnover in 2015 is approximately NOK 175 million with an EBITDA of close to NOK 30 million.

The founders Kristin Gjelseth, Anne Koppang and Gry Holm will retain a minority interest and contribute to further development of Olivia: “It has been our ambition to expand Olivia nationwide. Together with Herkules, we will have the competence, the capacity and the financial resources to accomplish this ambition over the next few years”.

“We are impressed by the outstanding track record, the strong culture and the enthusiasm in the organization. Olivia holds the x-factor that makes people want to return again and again. They have consistently shown a higher turnover per unit than other restaurants, due to the compelling brand that Olivia has become. We believe there is a strong potential for further growth, and we expect to leverage our experience from Espresso House”, says Sverre Flåskjer, Managing Partner at Herkules Capital.

Tone Wicklund-Hansen, CEO at Olivia, says that “Based on the strong Olivia brand, the concept and the success we have experienced, we are determined to expand the Olivia concept over the next 5 years. We really look forward to work with Herkules and the founders to grow the business rapidly”.

The plan for expansion is set by the management team and the owners. The ambitious plan for expansion calls for immediate action, whereas the search for new locations in all the large and medium sized cities in Norway, has already begun.

Herkules Private Equity Fund IV acquires a majority of the shares of Olivia AS from Drueklasen AS for an undisclosed amount. Closing of the transaction is planned to take place in January 2016.

Contact: Sverre Flåskjer, Managing Partner at Herkules Capital Telephone: +47 22 04 80 09 /+47 48 11 04 66

Tone Wicklund-Hansen, CEO at Olivia Telephone: +47 90 62 01 70

Spokesperson for the founders, Kristin Gjelseth

Telephone: +47 93 44 80 52

About Olivia: Olivia is Norway’s largest authentic Italian restaurant chain with 3 units located at Aker Brygge, Tjuvholmen and Hegdehaugsveien in Oslo. The first restaurant was founded in 2006 by Kristin Gjelseth, Anne Koppang and Gry Holm. Today Olivia employs over 200 people with a turnover of about NOK 175 million.

Herkules is a leading Private Equity firm in Norway and has raised funds with committed capital totalling approximately NOK 15 billion. We invest in companies located in the Nordic region, primarily in Norway, and acquire majority interests in established businesses with strong growth potential. We have a proven experience in working in partnership with existing shareholders. Our approach to ownership is industrial and long term, and is built on fundamental respect for the history, culture and experience within each individual company. More information can be found at www.herkules.no

Herkules was advised by Schjødt, PWC and BCG.

Drueklasen was advised by Handelsbanken and Selmer.

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Investment in Planctonic AS

Investinor

Investinor invests MEUR 0.77 (MNOK 7) in Planktonic AS, which offers cutting-edge «baby food» for farmed fish fry.

Planktonic aims to remove a bottleneck for growth in the global aquaculture industry: the initial feeding of fry.

One of the reasons why anadromous* fish species, such as salmon and trout, have been so successful as farmed fish is that their young are relatively well developed when they hatch. Salmon and trout fry are therefore capable of digesting dried feed from day one.

Fry from the majority of other farmed species, particularly those which live their entire lives in saltwater, so-called marine species*, are far less developed, and therefore far less robust, when they hatch.

These fry must therefore be fed a diet based on live plankton until they are mature enough to eat dried fish feed. The feed must also be of a very high quality if the fry are to survive and grow.

The quality of the live feed that is available on the market today is unsuitable for many fish species. It is also labour-intensive for the fish farmers to use and extremely expensive. The initial feeding of fish fry is therefore a major bottleneck for the further expansion of the global aquaculture industry.

Enabling cost cuts
Planktonic supplies a type of initial feed that in tests has proved to dramatically improve survival and growth rates among hatchlings. In addition, the feed is cost-effective and easy for fish farmers to use.

«Planktonic’s feed products could enable several marine species that the industry has so far had no success with to be farmed profitably. This could therefore be of huge significance for the international seafood sector,» says Ronny Vikdal, head of investment at Investinor.

Small company, massive potential
Planktonic AS was founded in 2008 by Nils Tokle and Håvard Aakerøy. Nils Tokle is a marine biologist and a leading researcher in his field, while Håvard Aakerøy has many years’ experience of managing fish farming operations.

The company currently has four employees, and generated revenues of NOK 3.6 million in 2014.

Investinor already has a portfolio of marine investments: Nordic Halibut (fish farming), Smartfish (medicinal nutrition), Ayanda (Omega 3 products) and Cryogenetics (breeding technology).

Start-feed for marine fish fry is a growing international market, which generated combined revenues of NOK 7.5 billion in 2014. NOK 2.5 billion of this came from live feed.

The global market for the farming of marine (saltwater) fish species in 2014 totalled approx. NOK 60 billion.

Planktonic is raising a total of MEUR 1 (MNOK 10) in this round.

In addition to Investinor other shareholders in the company are its founders and a group of business angels.

Investinor already has a portfolio of marine investments: Nordic Halibut (fish farming), Smartfish (medicinal nutrition), Ayanda (Omega 3 products) and Cryogenetics (breeding technology).

* Anadromous species, such as salmon and trout, lay their eggs in freshwater, where the young spend the first stages of their lives before eventually migrating downstream to the sea. Marine species live their entire lives in saltwater. Examples of marine species that are currently being farmed include sea bass, sea bream and halibut.

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