Ratos AB: CEO Peter Nilsson to leave Speed Group


Peter Nilsson is stepping down from his role as CEO of Ratos’s subsidiary Speed Group. The company’s CFO, Anders Appelqvist, has been appointed Acting CEO until a permanent CEO has been recruited.

Outgoing CEO Peter Nilsson was initially a member of Speed Group’s Board of Directors before taking over as CEO in autumn 2016. Peter is now leaving the company and Anders Appelqvist, who currently serves as the company’s CFO, has been appointed Acting CEO. Anders will take office effective immediately and the process to recruit a permanent replacement has begun.

“During his time as CEO, Peter has contributed to Speed Group’s substantial growth. Under Peter’s leadership, the company has become a national supplier of logistics services through the acquisition of Samdistribution in Stockholm and the first third-party logistics (3PL) supplier in the Nordic region to invest in an Autostore system. Since Speed Group’s focus has now shifted from growth to consolidation and profitability-enhancing measures, Peter is now leaving the company and Anders is taking over as Acting CEO,” says Christian Johansson Gebauer, Director at Ratos and responsible of Speed Group.

Ratos became the majority owner of Speed Group in 2015. The company is now a national supplier of logistics services and services for staffing, recruitment and education, with strong growth in an attractive underlying market. Speed Group has approximately 1,200 employees and sales of SEK 673m for the rolling 12-month period ending 30 September 2018.

For further information, please contact:

Christian Johansson Gebauer, Director, +46 8 700 17 00

Helene Gustafsson, Head of IR and Press, Ratos, +46 8 700 17 98

Financial calendar from Ratos:
Year-end report 2018                                     15 February 2019
Annual General Meeting                                 8 May 2019

Ratos owns and develops unlisted medium-sized companies in the Nordic countries. Our goal as an active owner is to contribute to long-term and sustainable business development in the companies we invest in and to make value-generating transactions. Ratos’s portfolio consists of 12 medium-sized Nordic companies and the largest segments in terms of sales are Construction, Industrials and Consumer goods/Commerce. Ratos is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and has approximately 12,300 employees.

Categories: News Personalia


Midlothian Capital Partners acquires PGL in £467m deal


London, 26 October, 2018

Midlothian Capital Partners (“MCP”) and a consortium of investors have agreed to acquire HB Education Limited (“HB Education”) – the holding company for PGL – for a value of £467 million.

HB Education is the UK’s leading outdoor education and study travel group. The market leading company provides residential adventure and study trips for schools, youth organisations and young people through the PGL brand, along with educational travel tours for schools and further/higher education students through NST, EST and Studylink. In addition, Travelplus (Germany) offers language travel and gap year experiences.

The vendor was Cox & Kings, the longest established travel company in the world.

This is Midlothian’s third consumer sector deal in the past two years following the £210m acquisition of Dobbies Garden Centres from Tesco in 2016 and the £110m purchase of Park Leisure, the holiday home operator, in 2017.

MCP received financing support through funds managed by Ares Management Ltd. The existing HB Education management team will stay in post and plan to expand the business both in the UK and internationally. It currently owns 26 Regional Activity Centres in the UK, France, Spain and Australia.

The company was founded in the late 1950’s by Peter Gordon Lawrence, initially providing canoe trips on the River Wye.  In 2007 it was acquired by Holidaybreak plc and merged with NST to create the leading experiential learning programme business in the UK. It was acquired by Cox & Kings in 2011.

Midlothian’s Neil Currie is Chairman-designate of HB Education. He said:

“HB Education is an industry-leading operator within both the residential outdoor activity and educational travel sectors. PGL is a much-loved brand among teachers and students and has created lasting, happy memories – including many among our own families.

We are delighted that the existing management team, led by CEO John Firth and CFO Peter Churchus, have agreed to remain with the company and partner with us. They have led HB Education impressively through its most successful growth period and their focus on customer satisfaction and team culture is a key reason for our interest in the group.”

Andrew Bracey of MCP, said:

“This transaction follows our recent acquisitions of Dobbies Garden Centres and Park Leisure and further demonstrates the strength of our network and operating model, as well as our ability to build close relationships with principals. PGL/HB Education adds another highly relevant and customer-focused business to our portfolio – crucial attributes within a rapidly changing consumer sector.”

Aidan Clegg of MCP, said:

“Cox & Kings have been excellent owners of the company, a pleasure to deal with and we look forward to continuing our relationship following the transaction.”

John Firth CEO of HB Education, said:

We are delighted that MCP has been chosen as the next owner of our company. We feel that MCP’s values align strongly with those of our staff and customers and we look forward to partnering with them as we open a new chapter in our long history of excellence and growth.”

Mike Dennis, Co-Head European Credit at Ares, said:

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with MCP and HB Education on this transaction. This is our third transaction with MCP and based on their significant experience in related sectors through their existing portfolio investments, we are confident that MCP represents a strong and appropriate partner for the company as it enters the next phase of its development”

Peter Kerkar, Group CEO of C&K, said:

“We are delighted that the education business has found a home with Midlothian as we are certain that they will continue to invest and develop the education business.”

Advisers to MCP include: Rothschild (financial), Slaughter and May (legal), and EY (accounting and tax).

Advisors to Cox & Kings include: Eversheds Sutherland (legal) and Baird (financial) and Axis Capital

Advisers to Ares include: Dechert LLP (legal)



Montfort Communications

Nick Miles 07739 701634

James Olley 07974 982302


About Midlothian Capital Partners

Midlothian Capital Partners is a consumer-focused investment company. The three founders of MCP (Andrew Bracey, Aidan Clegg and Neil Currie) have more than 70 years combined experience in consumer facing businesses in corporate finance, private equity, research and business management. The three founders will all join the board of HB Education.

About Ares Management, L.P.

Ares Management, L.P. is a publicly traded, leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $121.4 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2018 and 18 offices in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Since its inception in 1997, Ares has adhered to a disciplined investment philosophy that focuses on delivering strong risk-adjusted investment returns throughout market cycles. Ares believes each of its three distinct but complementary investment groups in Credit, Private Equity and Real Estate is a market leader based on assets under management and investment performance. Ares was built upon the fundamental principle that each group benefits from being part of the greater whole. For more information, visit www.aresmgmt.com.

Categories: News


KKR To Invest in Epic Games


trategic investment partners include KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners

CARY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Epic Games is pleased to announce it has received an investment of approximately $1.25 billion from KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

This investment creates powerful partnerships with highly strategic investment firms and individuals at the forefront of technology, entertainment, professional sports, esports, and live events.

These investors join Tencent, Disney and Endeavor as minority shareholders in Epic, which continues to be controlled by founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney.

“We’re excited to partner with the finest minds in the financial, sports, and entertainment communities. This reinforces Epic’s position of leadership in real-time 3D technology, and accelerates our ability to improve the way people play, work, and interact with the world,” said Sweeney.

“Epic Games has fundamentally changed the model for interactive entertainment under the company’s visionary leadership,” said Ted Oberwager of KKR. “Alongside a special group of investors, we are thrilled to support Epic’s dedicated employees and the passionate community of players and developers that lies at the heart of everything that Epic Games does.”

The Raine Group and Guggenheim Securities, LLC are acting as financial advisors to Epic Games. Smith Anderson is acting as legal advisor to Epic Games.

About Epic Games

Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic’s Unreal Engine technology brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, AR, VR and the Web. Unreal Engine is freely available at unrealengine.com. For more information, visit epicgames.com and check out @EpicGames.

Epic Games
Dana Cowley

Categories: News


CapMan Nordic Real Estate II leases large retail area in central Oslo to Power

CapMan Nordic Real Estate II fund has let approx. 1,800 sqm of retail space at Lille Grensen 5 to Power, the large and well-known pan Nordic electrical retailer.

Power has leased the entire basement, ground and first floor retail space for a period of 11 years. The property is a 4,700 sqm mixed retail and office building located on Lille Grensen, a well-known pedestrianised street in the heart of Oslo city centre which connects with both Karl Johans gate, the premier retail street in Oslo, and Grensen.

“We are very excited to sign a long-term agreement with Power, who we think is an ideal tenant for this property. Leasing to an exciting brand such as Power within six months of our previous tenant vacating clearly demonstrates the attractiveness of our property both in terms of quality and location. Lille Grensen 5 is CapMan Real Estate’s second investment in Oslo and we are pleased to intensify our co-operation with both tenants and property professionals in the Norwegian market,” comments Ed Williams, Managing Partner at CapMan Real Estate.

Power wishes to strengthen its position in Oslo and will, through this store, create a future-oriented retail outlet that takes into account the role and impact of e-commerce. Power expects to launch its store of the future during March 2019.

Malling & Co and CLP acted for CapMan in the transaction.

CapMan Nordic Real Estate II is a €425 million fund raised in August 2017. The focus of the fund is to acquire mainly office, retail and residential properties located in established submarkets of major Nordic cities.

CapMan Real Estate has a team consisting of over 30 real estate professionals in Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. CapMan Real Estate was established in 2005 and it currently has over €1.7 billion of assets under management.

For further information, please contact:
Ed Williams, Managing Partner, CapMan Real Estate, tel. +46 76 506 20 71

About CapMan
CapMan is a leading Nordic private asset expert with an active approach to value-creation in its target companies and assets. We offer a wide selection of investment products and services. As one of the Nordic private equity pioneers we have developed hundreds of companies and real estate and created substantial value in these businesses and assets over the last 30 years. CapMan employs today approximately 120 private equity professionals and has approximately €2.8 billion in assets under management. We mainly manage the assets of our customers, the investors, but also make investments from our own balance sheet. Our objective is to provide attractive returns and innovative solutions to investors. Our current investment strategies cover Real Estate, Buyout, Russia, Credit, Growth Equity and Infra. We also have a growing service business that currently includes procurement services (CaPS), fundraising advisory (Scala Fund Advisory), and fund management services. www.capman.com

Categories: News


Nexstim secures Business Finland funding for the development of wireless EMG devices

Helsinki, Finland: 25 October 2018 – Nexstim Plc (NXTMH:HEX, NXTMS:STO), the targeted neuromodulation company developing, and marketing pioneering navigated personalised, non-invasive brain stimulation systems for the treatment of Major Depression Disorder (MDD), announces today that it has secured € 342 thousand in the form of future R&D loans from Business Finland. The funding is part of the ELASTRONICS project to develop wireless Electromyography (EMG) devices. ELASTRONICS (Enabling the Future of Wearable Electronics) is Finland’s largest research project for stretchable electronics technologies and production processes.

Categories: News


Blackstone Energy Partners Announces Acquisition of Ulterra Drilling Technologies from American Securities


New York, October 23, 2018 – Blackstone Energy Partners announced today that it has entered into binding agreements to acquire a controlling, majority interest in Ulterra Drilling Technologies (“Ulterra” or the “Company”) from affiliates of American Securities LLC.  American Securities and certain members of management will retain a minority equity interest in the Company going forward.  Financial terms were not disclosed.  The transaction is expected to close prior to year-end 2018.

Ulterra is the largest pure-play, independent supplier of polycrystalline diamond compact (“PDC”) drill bits to the oil and gas industry.  The Company is one of the fastest growing PDC drill bit manufacturers, having more than doubled total revenue since 2016.  Ulterra currently has a leading position in many of the most active U.S. onshore oil and gas basins, including the Permian and Eagle Ford, and has a growing presence internationally.  Ulterra’s singular focus on PDC drilling technology allows it to deliver the highest level of customer service and customization to producers across a wide range of basins and geological formations, driving industry leading performance and durability.

The Company is led by a best-in-class management team who will continue in their current roles going forward, including Chief Executive Officer, John Clunan, and Chief Financial Officer, Maria Mejia, who are joined by a dedicated workforce of more than 600 employees worldwide.  “We are very excited about having Blackstone as a partner as we enter the next phase of growth.  Blackstone’s in-depth knowledge of the energy markets through their upstream and midstream companies will provide valuable insight for Ulterra.  We are also excited to have American Securities continue their involvement with the company. This new team will enable the continued expansion for our people, our culture, and our partners,” said John Clunan.

From Blackstone Energy Partners
“Drill bits are a mission-critical downhole consumable product, which are poised to benefit from drilling activity, particularly in the most economic oil and gas plays in North America.  Ulterra is well-positioned to serve producers in these plays given its portfolio of premium PDC drill bits that deliver best-in-class performance and reliability.  We look forward to partnering with American Securities and the Ulterra team as the Company enters this next phase of growth. We believe that high-quality equipment manufacturers such as Ulterra will continue to represent attractive investment opportunities, including potential add-on acquisitions for Ulterra, or new standalone opportunities in oil field services and equipment,” said Eric Liaw, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone Energy Partners.

From American Securities
“During our partnership, John and the talented Ulterra management team have established Ulterra as a market leader through their best-in-class products and focus on customer service,” said Kevin Penn, a Managing Director of American Securities.  “We continue to believe in Ulterra and are excited to remain equity holders in the Company alongside the management team and Blackstone to pursue Ulterra’s next phase of growth,” added Michael Sand, a Managing Director of American Securities.

Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Blackstone.  Barclays served as financial advisor to Blackstone.  Simmons & Company International, Energy Specialists of Piper Jaffray and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as financial advisors to American Securities and Ulterra. Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal counsel to American Securities and Ulterra.

About Ulterra
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Ulterra is a leading manufacturer of PDC drill bits to the oil and gas sector.  The Company has nearly 250,000 square feet of engineering, manufacturing and service space in Fort Worth, Texas, Leduc, Alberta in Canada and global locations in Oman, Colombia, Argentina, Kurdistan, and is soon to open in Saudi Arabia.  With locations all throughout the United States, Canada, and international, Ulterra’s field service locations are conveniently located near the drilling activity to provide direct support for your drilling operations.  For more information, please visit www.ulterra.com

About Blackstone Energy Partners
Blackstone Energy Partners is Blackstone’s energy-focused private equity business, with a successful record built on our industry expertise and partnerships with exceptional management teams.  Blackstone has invested or committed over $16 billion of equity globally across a broad range of sectors within the energy industry.

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with $457 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

About American Securities
Based in New York with an office in Shanghai, American Securities is a leading U.S. private equity firm that invests in market-leading North American companies with annual revenues generally ranging from $200 million to $2 billion and/or $50 million to $250 million of EBITDA. American Securities and its affiliates have approximately $23 billion under management. For more information, visit www.american-securities.com.

Blackstone Media Relations
Paula Chirhart
(212) 583-5011

American Securities
Amy Harsch
(212) 476-8071

Ulterra Drilling Technologies
Aron Deen
(817) 551-0089

Categories: News


GP Bullhound invests in sports booking platform Playtomic

Gp Bullhound

Madrid, 23 October 2018 – GP Bullhound announces its investment in Playtomic, the largest network of sports reservations in Spain. The funds raised will go toward accelerating the business across Spain and Europe.
Playtomic joins the pool of GP Bullhound’s fast-growing portfolio companies founded in Spain, including Wallapop, Jobandtalent, Ontruck, and most recently Stratio.

Pedro Claveria, Founder and CEO of Playtomic, said: “We are excited to have GP Bullhound as a partner. Using Playtomic’s technology, users can find and book a court in less than 3 clicks. Our vision is to deliver the best solutions to the industry and make users play even more, allowing sport clubs to increase their occupancy rates. Thanks to this investment, Playtomic users will be able to find other players to play with and get inspired to practice their favourite sport even more.”

Per Roman, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound, commented: “We’ve been following Pedro and his team closely, as Playtomic in under a year has built the leading Spanish sports reservation platform, and we’re proud to support their efforts to modernise a sector that was ripe for disruption and automatisation.”

For enquiries, please contact Per Roman, Managing Partner at GP Bullhound, at per.roman@gpbullhound.com 

About Playtomic
Playtomic is the largest sports booking platform in Spain, with more than 40 employees. Via the app, users can find and book courts to play padel and tennis. It allows to book 2,500 courts of padel and tennis in more than 650 affiliated clubs. Playtomic is the leading Sports Marketplace in Spain, being the perfect link between players and sport clubs.

About GP Bullhound
GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit www.gpbullhound.com, or follow on Twitter @GPBullhound.

Categories: News


Kinnevik invests in GoEuro – the leading booking platform for transport across Europe


Kinnevik AB (publ) (“Kinnevik”) today announced that it has invested SEK 443m in GoEuro, the leading booking platform for transport across Europe. The investment was made in partnership with Temasek, the Singapore based investment company.

GoEuro is a travel platform that allows customers to find and book trains, buses and flights across Europe. Partnering with over 800 European transport operators, GoEuro is revolutionising the travel planning experience, providing customers with more choice, transparent pricing and easier booking. Today, GoEuro sells tickets directly for more than 80% of its transport providers, offering ground and air travel options in 36 countries across Europe, with full product in 15. It has more than 27 million users every month, with three quarters of users on mobile.

Georgi Ganev, CEO of Kinnevik commented:

“We are excited to lead this funding round in GoEuro, together with Temasek. GoEuro has made the travel comparison and booking experience seamless for millions of travellers, and it resonates perfectly with Kinnevik’s investment strategy of providing more and better choice to the consumer. I look forward to supporting Naren and his team as they continue to grow the business.”

Naren Shaam, Founder and CEO of GoEuro, said:

“The investment by these outstanding firms is a testament to our team’s hard work to build the leading booking platform for transport in Europe and a recognition of the tremendous growth opportunities we see ahead. Having Kinnevik, Temasek and Hillhouse as investors complements our vision for driving growth across our business, as we help people around the world book their travel more easily and quickly. “

 For further information, visit www.kinnevik.com or contact:

Torun Litzén, Director Investor Relations
Phone +46 (0)70 762 00 50
Email press@kinnevik.com

Kinnevik is an industry focused investment company with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our purpose is to build digital businesses that provide more and better choice. We do this by working in partnership with talented founders and management teams to create, develop and invest in fast growing businesses in developed and emerging markets. We believe in delivering both shareholder and social value by building companies that contribute positively to society. Kinnevik was founded in 1936 by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families. Kinnevik’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm’s list for large cap companies under the ticker codes KINV A and KINV B.

Categories: News


Eurazeo announces the sale of Asmodee after a succesful transformation


Paris, October 23, 2018 – Eurazeo announced today the effective sale to PAI Partners of its investment in Asmodee, a leading international games publisher and distributor.

This deal perfectly reflects the in-depth transformation successfully completed in recent years by Stéphane Carville and his teams with Eurazeo’s support. In four years, Asmodee’s revenue has grown from €125 million to €442 million, representing an average annual growth rate of 37%, and is now generated 75% internationally. At the same time, publishing revenues increased to nearly two-thirds of games sales. The Group also completed 20 acquisitions, representing over €140 million in revenue.
The deal generating sales proceeds of €565 million for Eurazeo and its investor partners, including €426 million for Eurazeo, i.e., a return on the initial investment of nearly 4x and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of almost 35%.
About Eurazeo
o With a diversified portfolio of more than €17 billion in assets under management, including over €11 billion from third parties, Eurazeo is a leading global investment company with offices in Paris, Luxembourg, New York, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. Its purpose and mission is to identify, accelerate and enhance the transformation potential of the companies in which it invests. The firm covers most private equity segments through its five investment divisions – Eurazeo Capital, Eurazeo Croissance, Eurazeo PME, Eurazeo Patrimoine and Eurazeo Brands – and through three Idinvest business divisions: Venture Capital, Private Debt and Dedicated Portfolio & Funds. Its solid institutional and family shareholder base, robust financial structure free of structural debt, and flexible investment horizon enable Eurazeo to support its companies over the long term. As a global long-term shareholder, the firm offers deep sector expertise, a gateway to global markets, and a stable foothold for transformational growth to the companies it supports.

o Eurazeo is listed on Euronext Paris.
o ISIN: FR0000121121 – Bloomberg: RF FP – Reuters: EURA.PA


E-mail: ccohen@eurazeo.com
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 15 16 76
E-mail: vchristnacht@eurazeo.com
Tel: +33 1 44 15 76 44
Deborah Guedj
E-mail: deborah.guedj@havas.com
Tel: +33 (0)6 26 74 95 96
For more information, please visit the Group’s website: www.eurazeo.com
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Categories: News


GP Bullhound advises Namics on its sale to Merkle

Gp Bullhound

GP Bullhound acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Namics, a leader in digital transformation in Switzerland and Germany, on its sale to Merkle. Namics provides further scale and depth to Merkle’s people-based marketing capabilities, in particular in the areas of business transformation strategy, digital consulting and technology implementation across Adobe Experience Cloud, Sitecore, Salesforce, SAP and other technology partners. The acquisition by Merkle is subject to the German Federal Cartel Office’s clearance.

Founded in 1995, Namics employs more than 550 people and is a leading full-service digital agency in Switzerland and Germany. Namics is a one-stop shop for strategic consulting, innovative concepts and creative work, as well as technical implementation involving a variety of disciplines.

Roland Schönholzer, Chairman of Namics commented: “With Merkle we have found a valuable partner that has a shared vision of helping clients to win in digital transformation. GP Bullhound was selected in this deal because of their position as the leading advisor in digital services transactions globally, and their deep sector expertise and network were invaluable in delivering this transaction for us.”

Simon Nicholls, Partner at GP Bullhound commented: “The convergence in digital services across marketing, consulting and technology implementation is here to stay and leading players in digital business transformation, like Namics, have a key role to play.”

The transaction is further testament to GP Bullhound’s expertise in advising category leaders in the Digital Services sector, with 24 transactions completed in the last 24 months including the sales of The North Alliance to Norvestor, Solita to Apax Digital, Wongdoody to Infosys, and Karmarama to Accenture among many others.

For enquiries please contact: Simon Nicholls, Partner, at simon.nicholls@gpbullhound.com or Marvin Maerz, Associate, at marvin.maerz@gpbullhound.com

About GP Bullhound
GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit www.gpbullhound.com, or follow on Twitter @GPBullhound.

Dealmakers in Technology

Categories: News