IK Investment Partners raises €2.85 billion for its ninth Mid Cap fund


IK Investment Partners (“IK” or “the Firm”), a leading Pan-European private equity firm, is pleased to announce that it has closed its ninth Mid Cap fund, the IK IX Fund (“the Fund”), having reached its hard cap of €2.85 billion. IK’s previous Mid Cap fund, IK VIII, raised €1.85 billion in 2016.

The fundraise attracted significant interest from a high-quality institutional investor base across Europe (60%), North America (30%), Asia (7%) and South America (3%), with over a third of the money raised coming from new limited partners investing in IK funds for the first time.

Reflecting the operational strength of the Firm and its local market footprint with seven offices across Europe, the Fund will continue to invest across its core markets of the Nordics, the DACH region, France and the Benelux. The successful strategy of supporting growing and resilient Mid Cap businesses in the Business Services, Consumer / Food, Engineered Products and Healthcare sectors remains in place.

Christopher Masek, IK CEO, said: “We are grateful for the confidence of our investors in our active approach to transforming European mid-market companies through international reach and sharpened operational capacities. We are confident that the IK IX Fund is well positioned to leverage the strengths and experience acquired over 30 years in this new environment of change and opportunity.”

Mads Ryum Larsen, Head of IR and a Managing Partner, said:
“We are delighted to welcome both new and existing investors to IK IX, our largest ever fund. With our expanded team and on-the-ground expertise in all the markets we operate, we have never been better placed to seek out opportunities and support attractive businesses across Europe.”

Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as the legal counsel to the Fund.

This press release is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States or any other jurisdiction and interests in the Fund may not be offered or sold in the United States or any other jurisdictions save in accordance with applicable law.

For further questions, please contact:

IK Investment Partners
Mikaela Murekian
Director Communications & ESG
Phone: +44 77 87 573 566

About IK Investment Partners
IK Investment Partners (“IK”) is a Pan-European private equity firm focused on investments in the Nordics, DACH region, France, Benelux, and the UK. Since 1989, IK has nearly €13 billion of capital and invested in over 130 European companies. Across its strategies, IK funds support companies with strong underlying potential, partnering with management teams and investors to create robust, well-positioned businesses with excellent long-term prospects. For more information, visit www.ikinvest.com

Categories: News


Ardian-backed Kersia acquires Manchester-based Holchem, and becomes Europe’s second largest food safety company


he acquisition is the second largest add-on since Ardian invested in the company in 2016

Paris, May 29th, 2020 – Kersia, a global leader in biosecurity and food safety, announces the completion of the acquisition of Holchem from Ecolab. With this important milestone, Kersia becomes a leader in the UK hygiene sector and the second largest player in Europe. Holchem will join Kersia’s global operations platform that spans across Northern Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and China. The Holchem acquisition is being supported by additional capital from Ardian, one of the world’s leading private investment houses.

Based near Manchester, Holchem is the leading provider of hygiene and food safety solutions and technology in the UK. A large majority of the company’s sales are directed to the food, beverage and dairy industries, with additional sales to the food service, retail, institutional and farm sectors. With a turnover of approximately €55 million, Holchem operates from two industrial sites located in Bury and Liphook, primarily serving the UK market.

Following the acquisition of Kilco in July 2018, which enabled Kersia to penetrate the UK livestock sector (dairy, poultry and swine), the Holchem transaction allows Kersia to continue its development in this key geography, leveraging Holchem’s strong positioning to provide leadership in the British Food&Beverage Hygiene market.

Joined together, Kersia and Holchem will be able to benefit from major growth opportunities in the context of high global health and food safety standards, which are continuously rising. In the UK market, Kersia and Holchem are truly complementarity, both in terms of geographies and sectors, offering an important synergy opportunity, especially as country-specific standards and customer requirements become increasingly more stringent. Both companies share common values via their strong focus on environment and social responsibility and offer innovative digital solutions to enable their clients’ productivity.

During the ongoing Covid-19 public health crisis, both companies have been and remain strongly committed to supporting their customers and wider communities by refocusing operations towards the traditional products which have been most in demand, such as disinfectant and hand-hygiene solutions, while also continuing to support the rising demand for biosecurity protocols and enabling knowledge-sharing and best practices.

Kersia was formed as a new company in 2016 after Hypred acquired Antigerm, LCB Food Safety, G3, Kilco and Choisy Laboratories, each acquisition carefully chosen for their respective technologies and leading and complementary market positions. Kersia aims to improve the performance of the agricultural and food industries by preventing the spread of animal and human diseases, often caused by contamination in the food supply chain. The company offers also solutions to the healthcare sector. Following this acquisition, Kersia will operate in more than 120 countries with a workforce of over 1,500 people and a turnover of more than €300 million.

Sébastien Bossard, CEO of Kersia declares: “We are thrilled to welcome the Holchem teams to the Group. Their DNA, the quality of their work, the experience of their employees, their solutions, their services, strongly oriented towards the food industry in the UK and Ireland, make them very complementary to our current operations. This merger will enable us to make new solutions and services available to Kersia’s customers throughout the world, and in the same way, will provide Holchem’s local teams and customers with Kersia’s solutions to help combat contamination by pathogens of the food chain in one of the world’s largest food processing regions. We look forward to working together with Holchem Management team and employees and continuing Holchem’s successful development.”

Stuart Middleton, Managing Director of Holchem adds: “Over the years, Holchem has built a prominent position in the hygiene and food safety solutions market in the UK and Ireland thanks to its comprehensive and innovative offering. We can be proud of what our managers and employees have achieved. We are very excited to join the Kersia Group of companies, which has become a global leader in food safety in a few years, and we look forward to contributing to Kersia Group’s growth, both in our home markets and globally. We believe that this important transaction will bring many opportunities to all our employees and our customers in the combined organization.”

Thibault Basquin, Head of Americas Investments for Ardian Buyout, concludes: “Once again, we are extremely proud to support Kersia in this major deal, marking a new stage in the Group’s development. This is the sixth build-up Kersia has made in less than four years. The partnership with Holchem will enable Kersia to become truly global and Europe’s second largest player in food safety. The group is now more capable than ever to become a trusted partner in a rapidly growing market and will continue to work tirelessly to meet the global demand.”


Kersia is a global leader in biosecurity and food safety with value added products and solutions to prevent diseases or contamination in both animals and humans at every stage of the food supply chain.  The company offers also solutions to the healthcare sector
Following the acquisition, Kersia will operate in more than 120 countries with a workforce of over 1,500 people and a turnover of more than €300 million.


Holchem Group Limited is a food safety specialist providing hygiene solutions and technology primarily to the food, beverage, dairy, food service, institutional and retail sectors. Holchem operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a turnover of approximately €55 million.


Ardian is one of the world’s leading private equity firms with $96 billion under management and/or advisory in Europe, America and Asia. The company, which is majority owned by its employees, has always placed entrepreneurship at the heart of its approach and offers its international investors top-tier performance.
Through its commitment to sharing the value created with all stakeholders, Ardian contributes to the growth of companies and economies around the world. Based on its values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian benefits from an international network of 680 employees in 15 offices in Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), North America (New York, San Francisco), South America (Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). The company manages the funds of 1,000 clients through its five investment pillars: Funds of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
Follow Ardian on Twitter @Ardian


Buyer :

Kersia: Sébastien Bossard, Stéphane Le Dallic, Béatrice Texier, Alban Houssin
Ardian: Thibault Basquin, Nicolas Darnaud, Alexandre Vannelle, Alexis Manet, Jean-Baptiste Hunaut

Advisors :

M&A advisors:

Evercore (Tom Massey, Greg-Henri Bize, Maximilian Rempel)  

Legal advisors:

– Brodies (William McIntosh, Alasdair Dunn, Gina Malone, Jennifer Sim)
– Latham & Watkins (Gaëtan Gianasso, Timothée Brunello, Aymerick Fradin)
– Latham & Watkins (Xavier Farde, Carla-Sophie Imperadeiro)
– Structuring – Latham & Watkins (Olivia Rauch-Ravise, Yann Auregan)

Buy-side due diligence:
Finance: Accuracy (Frédéric Loeper, Andrés Rothschild)
Commercial: Bain (Jérôme Brunet, Andrea Gondekova, Ghofrane Maaroufi)
Operations: Advancy (Jérôme Salomon, Vincent Delaeter)
Legal & social: Brodies (William McIntosh, Alasdair Dunn, Gina Malone, Jennifer Sim)
Tax: Arsene Taxand (Mirouna Verban, Terry Khayat) and Alvarez & Marshal (Ian Flemming, Jagdip Bharij, Gurvinder Vim, Amish Patel)
Environmental: Malcolm Hollis (David Smith, Elliott Lockyer)
Regulatory: Socotec (Patrick Levy, Nazanin Golbamaki, Valérie Migaud-Sapin)




Categories: News


EQT acquires Freepik Company, the global leading, freemium provider of digital visual content


  • With 32 million monthly users and 5 billion downloads to date, Freepik offers over 10 million high-quality and curated graphic resources, including icons, vectors, photos, and templates
  • Freepik’s underlying market is supported by favorable secular megatrends, such as the increasing shift to digital advertising, the global democratization of content production through social media and the surge in mobile media and online gaming
  • EQT will, together with Freepik’s founders, support the Company’s accelerated growth and further penetration of existing markets, by leveraging EQT’s strong digital and sector expertise, its global platform and extensive advisory network

The EQT Mid Market Europe fund (“EQT” or “EQT Mid Market”) has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake of Freepik Company (“Freepik” or “the Company”) from its founders and management team, who will remain as minority owners. Freepik’s management team, including the Co-Founders, Alejandro and Pablo Blanes and Joaquin Cuenca, will continue to lead the Company, building on its strong track record of growth and product innovation.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Málaga, Spain, Freepik supports 32 million monthly visitors in over 200 markets through a high-quality and curated library of over 10 million graphic resources, including icons, vectors, photos, and templates. Freepik transformed the visual content and online graphic design market, thanks to its innovative freemium business model, yielding a superior price-to-quality value proposition. The business model is based on a unique, data-driven approach to content sourcing and creation, leveraging consumer demand insights from 5 billion downloads to date.

The Company, which operates under the Freepik, Flaticon and SlidesGo brands, is today the global leader in its space and is the largest freemium provider of digital visual content in the world. Freepik’s growth is evidenced by a rapidly expanding community of 20 million registered users who are supported by a network of over 450 in-house freelancer graphical designers and a strong external contributor base.

Freepik’s underlying market is supported by fast-growing, digital-first industries, including game design, social media and digital advertising. These segments have proven to be resilient, through downturns and recessions and are backed by favorable secular megatrends, such as the increasing shift to digital advertising, the global democratization of content production through social media and the surge in mobile media and online gaming.

EQT will support Freepik’s accelerated growth and continued pursuit of commercial excellence by investing in the Company’s proprietary content library, and its UX and tech platform, including AI and tool integration capabilities. Moreover, by leveraging EQT’s digital expertise and global presence, Freepik plans to further penetrate existing markets, such as US and Asia, ultimately, aiming to become the market leading and go-to platform for online content creators and functional users around the world.

Victor Englesson, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, said: “We are impressed by Freepik’s achievements and EQT is proud to partner with its Co-Founders to help achieve its full potential. Freepik is supported by numerous positive secular megatrends and represents a truly thematic investment, which fits strongly with EQT’s focus on growth investments and partnerships with world class management teams.”

Joaquin Cuenca, Co-Founder of Freepik, said: “We are very excited to partner with EQT and look forward to working together. EQT’s digital and sector expertise, global platform, combined with local presence across Europe, the US and Asia, as well as its extensive network of advisors will be key to our future success and of great value for the strengthening of our management team.”

Carlos Santana, Managing Director at EQT Partners and Head of EQT Private Equity in Spain, concluded: “Freepik is the leading freemium player and go-to platform for online creators and functional users. EQT looks forward to supporting Freepik’s continued growth trajectory and its plans to further cement the Company’s global leading market position. The acquisition of Freepik demonstrates EQT’s long-term commitment to Spain, even in tougher times, and the ambition to support local businesses in becoming global.”

Alejandro Blanes, Co-Founder of Freepik, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled at the prospect of partnering with EQT. They have a proven track record of helping founder led and tech companies, like ours, successfully take the next step of their journey. We have always had the ambition of leaving a positive mark in the creative industry; we are now better placed than ever to deliver on that.”

In line with the commitment to invest in sustainable businesses, EQT will accelerate Freepik’s growth as its supports local and industry technological innovation by underpinning the democratization of digital content. By enabling independent freelancers to monetize their creative work and customers to shift from offline to online digital innovation using its library of digital content, Freepik contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals #8 and #9.

The transaction is expected to close subject to customary approvals in June 2020. The parties have agreed not to disclose the transaction value.

Allen & Overy served as legal advisors to EQT, Freshfields on tax, BCG on commercial, KPMG on financial, LionTree on M&A and Netlight on tech. Drake Star Partners, Deloitte and Callol, Coca & Asociados served as advisors to Freepik.

Victor Englesson, Partner at EQT Partners Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, +46 708 481 411
Carlos Santana, Managing Director at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market and Head of EQT Private Equity in Spain, +34 91 08 30 559
EQT Press office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management across 19 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America with total sales of more than EUR 27 billion and approximately 159,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on Twitter and LinkedIn

About Freepik
Freepik supports approximately 32 million monthly visitors, leveraging consumer demand insights from 5 billion downloads to date, to create over 10 million high quality and curated graphic resources across icons, vectors, photos, and templates. Freepik is a global leader in the fast-growing visual content, online graphic design and digital media space, thanks to a disruptive business model and a unique, data-driven approach to content sourcing and in-house content production, supporting a rapidly growing community of 20 million registered users.

More info: www.freepik.com

Categories: News


KAR Global announces $550 million strategic investment led by Funds advised by Apax Partners


CARMEL, Ind. – May 26, 2020: KAR Auction Services, Inc. d/b/a KAR Global (NYSE: KAR), a global vehicle remarketing and technology solutions provider, today announced the placement of $550 million in newly issued perpetual convertible preferred stock of KAR Global (“KAR”). The preferred stock has a 7.0% dividend which shall be paid in-kind for the eight quarters following closing, and thereafter in cash or in-kind at KAR’s option. The initial conversion price of $17.75 per share represents an approximately 42% premium to KAR’s closing price of $12.52 per share on Friday, May 22, 2020. The investment was led by funds advised by Apax Partners (the “Apax Funds”), a global private equity advisory firm, with participation by Periphas Capital, L.P. The proceeds of the transaction will be utilized to expedite the resumption of operations to meet market demand, sustain the company’s technology platforms and development pipeline and navigate the industry and economic recovery.

“KAR took early and decisive steps in response to COVID-19 to protect the safety of our employees and customers, preserve our capital position and keep our operations moving forward,” said Jim Hallett, Chairman and CEO of KAR. “This transaction will help us continue to support our global customers and further accelerate our digital transformation. Apax is the right strategic partner for our company, employees and stockholders, and their investment reinforces the strength of our brands, market position and long-term strategy for growth and expansion.”

“KAR is an internationally recognized leader in wholesale remarketing with a strong track record of innovation,” said Roy Mackenzie, Partner at Apax Partners. “The company’s market leading digital platforms and investments in data analytics uniquely position them to thrive in the new digital normal. We look forward to partnering with KAR’s progressive and entrepreneurial management team to transform their industry and drive long-term value for all stockholders.”

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as lead financial advisor, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to KAR. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to Apax Partners. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor to Periphas Capital.


About KAR

KAR Auction Services, Inc. d/b/a KAR Global (NYSE: KAR), provides sellers and buyers across the global wholesale used vehicle industry with innovative, technology-driven remarketing solutions. KAR Global’s unique end-to-end platform supports whole car, financing, logistics and other ancillary and related services, including the sale of nearly 3.8 million units valued at approximately $40 billion through our auctions in 2019. Our integrated physical, online and mobile marketplaces reduce risk, improve transparency and streamline transactions for customers in more than 80 countries. Headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, KAR Global has employees across the United States, Canada, Mexico, U.K. and Europe. For more information, go to www.karglobal.com. For the latest KAR Global news, follow us on Twitter @KARspeaks.

About Apax Partners

Apax Partners is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 40-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of c.$50 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies.

The Apax Funds are growth focused investors with a long and successful track record investing in leading software and digital businesses. The Apax Funds have invested more than $5 billion in this sub-sector, including Dealer.com, DealerTrack, Trader Corporation and Auto Trader Group plc.

For more information see: www.apax.com.

About Periphas Capital 

Periphas Capital focuses on growth and buyout investments in four primary industries: Technology Enabled Services, Business Services, Consumer and Industrials. The principals of Periphas bring 30 years of private equity investing experience and have led 37 investments with aggregate invested capital of $5 billion, including a previous investment in KAR, in addition to investments in Aramark, Burger King and Hexcel.

For more information see: www.periphascapital.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions thereof. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and we caution you not to place undue reliance on such statements. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by the use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “intend,” “project,” “continue,” or the negative of these words, or other similar words or terms.

Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made by us. Factors and risks to our business that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements are described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, potential risks and uncertainties relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).


For Apax Partners

USA Media: Todd Fogarty, Kekst CNC | +1 212-521-4854 | apax@kekstcnc.com

UK Media: Matthew Goodman / James Madsen, Greenbrook | +44 20 7952 2000 | apax@greenbrookpr.com


Media Inquiries: Tobin Richer | +1 (317) 249-4521 | tobin.richer@karglobal.com

Analyst Inquiries: Mike Eliason | +1 (317) 249-4559 | mike.eliason@karglobal.com

Notes to Editors 

London-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.com) and Paris-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.fr) had a shared history but are separate, independent private equity firms.

Categories: News


Nordic Capital to acquire Max Matthiessen, a leading financial advisor in the Nordic region

Nordic Capital

MAY 25 2020
Nordic Capital to acquire Max Matthiessen, a leading financial advisor in the Nordic region Image

Nordic Capital has signed an agreement to acquire Max Matthiessen, one of the leading financial advisors within pensions, insurance and investment in the Nordic region, from Willis Towers Watson. Nordic Capital is a leading investor in the financial services sector and has a deep understanding of the Nordic financial advice and savings markets. By investing in Max Matthiessen’s continued product development and enhancing its organisational capacity, Nordic Capital intends to support the Company’s expanded customer offering and its next phase of sustainable growth and innovation.

Max Matthiessen was founded in 1889 and has been active in the insurance sector for more than 130 years. The Company is headquartered in Stockholm and has 440 full-time employees of which 235 are advisors, based across circa 30 locations throughout Sweden. Its product offering includes occupational pensions, asset management and non-life insurance. Max Matthiessen has a customer base of circa 13,000 corporate clients, with revenues of SEK 1,552 mn (EUR 148 mn) in 2019.

Max Matthiessen is operating in an industry that is subject to constant change as a result of an increasing focus on sustainability, transparency and regulation. Furthermore, the industry transformation is driven by technical advancements and product development. By leveraging its deep sector expertise, extensive industrial network and access to significant capital, Nordic Capital sees an opportunity to support Max Matthiessen to realise its full potential by scaling the Company’s platform and driving growth through investment in the team, modernising its product offering for the benefit of customers and exploring selective acquisition opportunities.

“Max Matthiessen has a high-quality, talented team and is one of the leaders in the Nordic region. The Company fits perfectly within Nordic Capital’s sector focus and strategy for Financial Services. Nordic Capital is excited to partner with Max Matthiessen to support the Company’s growth journey. Going forward, the joint focus will be on scaling Max Matthiessen’s operations and investing in organic as well as acquisitive growth. Together with the Company, Nordic Capital will support continued product innovation to the benefit of the customers and pension savers,” says Christian Frick, Partner and Head of Financial Services, Nordic Capital Advisors.

“We are excited to partner with Nordic Capital for the next chapter of Max Matthiessen’s development. We are wholly aligned when it comes to our strategic vision. Together, we will be able to accelerate our growth by continuing to provide the best financial advice as one of the leading financial advisors and by developing and expanding our product portfolio further. Nordic Capital has a great strategic approach and deep experience across our sector. They have a strong history of growing companies and we look forward to leveraging Nordic Capital’s expertise in the next phase of our development,” says Bo Ågren, CEO, Max Matthiessen.

Johan Forsgård, Head of Nordics, Willis Towers Watson said: “We are very proud of what Max Matthiessen has accomplished and are confident that Max Matthiessen will continue to grow and expand their capabilities in order to deliver first-class client solutions with Nordic Capital as the new owner. Willis Towers Watson and Max Matthiessen will have ongoing relationships in certain aspects of the business where we remain closely aligned and we look forward to continuing to work together.”

Nordic Capital’s previous experience in the Financial Service sector includes investments in MFEX, Nordnet, Resurs Holding, Nordax, Bank Norwegian, Lindorff (combined with Intrum), Trustly, Bambora and Point as well as a long history of enabling and driving rapid organic and acquisitive growth.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Citi acted as financial advisor to Nordic Capital and Cederquist acted as its legal advisor. 

Footnote: “Nordic Capital” refers to any, or all, Nordic Capital branded or associated investment vehicles and their associated management entities. Nordic Capital is advised by its exclusive advisors, the NC Advisory entities and the Nordic Capital Investment Advisory entities, any or all of which is referred to as Nordic Capital Advisors.


Media contacts:

Nordic Capital

Katarina Janerud, Communications Manager
Nordic Capital Advisors
Tel: +46 8 440 50 50
e-mail: katarina.janerud@nordiccapital.com

Max Matthiessen

Petra Broman, Communications Manager
Tel:  +46 733 75 74 36
e-mail: petra.broman@maxm.se


About Max Matthiessen

Max Matthiessen, founded in 1889, is a leading Swedish advisor within pensions, insurance and investment, offering advice, analysis, administration and procurement of pension and insurance solutions to employers, entrepreneurs and individual customers. The Company also offers advice within savings, investment advisory and asset management. Max Matthiessen has 440 employees at circa 30 locations throughout Sweden. In 2019, revenues were SEK 1,552 million. For further information, please see www.maxm.se.


About Nordic Capital

Nordic Capital is a leading private equity investor with a resolute commitment to creating stronger, sustainable businesses through operational improvement and transformative growth. Nordic Capital focuses on selected regions and sectors where it has deep experience and a long history. Core sectors are Healthcare, Technology & Payments, Financial Services and Industrials & Business Services. Key regions are Northern Europe and globally for Healthcare. Since inception in 1989, Nordic Capital has invested more than EUR 14.5 billion in over 110 investments. The Nordic Capital vehicles are based in Jersey. They are advised by several non-discretionary sub-advisory entities based in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, the UK and the US, any or all of which are referred to as Nordic Capital Advisors. For further information about Nordic Capital, please visit www.nordiccapital.com

Categories: News


Partnership between Guinness PRO14 and CVC Capital Partners Fund VII

Together to develop the league for the benefit of its fans, players, clubs and unions, in key rugby nations

The board of the Guinness PRO14 has completed a significant strategic partnership investment from CVC Capital Partners Fund VII (“CVC Fund VII”) that will allow the league to work towards its full potential – for the benefit of fans, players, clubs and unions in these key rugby nations over the years ahead.

Under this agreement, CVC Fund VII will acquire a 28 percent share of PRO14 Rugby from Celtic Rugby DAC, the Unions will retain the 72 percent majority share.

The partnership commitment will allow both PRO14 Rugby and the Irish, Italian, Scottish & Welsh rugby unions to continue to invest in the sport, both professional and amateur, to achieve its potential over the long term.

A portion of the investment will also be held centrally at PRO14 Rugby, for the Board to invest in further capabilities for the business and in upgrading league operations in line with its growth ambitions.

As part of this agreement, the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR), will also become a member of Celtic Rugby DAC, and receive a share of the investment.

Martin Anayi, CEO, will continue to lead the management team at PRO14 Rugby, working closely with CVC and the unions on execution of the commercial plan. The unions will also remain independently responsible for the sporting and regulatory elements of the league, via the Sporting & Regulatory Committee.

In the past four years, the Guinness PRO14 has performed well both on and off the field, doubling distributions to clubs and facilitating record investment back into the sport from the league. This has been recognised by CVC, who share PRO14 Rugby’s vision for the long-term potential of the league.

CVC was selected by PRO14 Rugby and the unions as their partner due to the extensive experience of prior CVC funds investing in multiple sports businesses, such as Formula 1, Moto GP and Premiership Rugby.

Dominic McKay, Chairman of Celtic Rugby DAC and Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Rugby, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to welcome CVC into the Guinness PRO14 as our partner. As a board, we have been ambitious in our outlook and have significantly developed the league in recent years. One of our key goals was to secure a strategic partner to help accelerate our plans and CVC bring a wealth of experience and great expertise in this regard.

“Sport, like all of society is dealing with major challenges currently that we could not have imagined just a few months ago, and it is testament to the strength of our partnership with CVC that they have committed to the game of rugby in a such a significant way.

“Their enthusiasm and commitment is a welcome vote of confidence in the future of the sport and the Guinness PRO14 as an international competition. Completing this partnership with CVC is testament to the hard work invested by many people who have focused to deliver a bright vision for PRO14 and enable it to realise its commercial value in the global sports market.

“We are also delighted that the FIR has now joined Celtic Rugby DAC as a shareholder after 10 years of participation in the league. Alongside my PRO14 Board colleagues at the Irish, Italian, Welsh and South African rugby unions I would like to warmly welcome CVC to the Guinness PRO14.”

Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby, said: “CVC’s show of faith has been impressive and is in keeping with their proven track record of success when it comes to sports investment, including Formula 1, Moto GP and Premiership Rugby. This partnership allows all of our stakeholders to plan for a sustainable period of growth, which will benefit the fans, the players and the game.

“We are very pleased to partner with CVC, who saw us as an ambitious, fast-paced and innovative organisation, situated across a number of core rugby nations that can deliver an increasing impact.

“We have been clear that we believe the Guinness PRO14 is a world-class club league, that is still in its growth phase and we are confident that it will become a major standard bearer in our sport. We are excited that CVC clearly shares that ambition and we look forward to working with them to deliver on the league’s promise in the years ahead.”

Categories: News


Microsoft announces definitive agreement to acquire Metaswitch Networks

Franciso Partners

Microsoft announces definitive agreement to acquire Metaswitch Networks, expanding approach to empower operators and partner with network equipment providers to deliver on promise of 5G

Today, we are announcing that we have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Metaswitch Networks, a leading provider of virtualized network software and voice, data and communications solutions for operators.

The convergence of cloud and communication networks presents a unique opportunity for Microsoft to serve operators globally via continued investment in Azure, adding additional depth to our hyperscale cloud infrastructure with the specialized software required to run virtualized communication functions, applications and networks.

This announcement builds on our recent acquisition of Affirmed Networks, which closed on April 23, 2020. Metaswitch’s complementary portfolio of ultra-high-performance, cloud-native communications software will expand our range of offerings available for the telecommunications industry. Microsoft intends to leverage the talent and technology of these two organizations, extending the Azure platform to both deploy and grow these capabilities at scale in a way that is secure, efficient and creates a sustainable ecosystem.

As the industry moves to 5G, operators will have opportunities to advance the virtualization of their core networks and move forward on a path to an increasingly cloud-native future. Microsoft will continue to meet customers where they are, working together with the industry as operators and network equipment providers evolve their own operations.

We will continue to support hybrid and multi-cloud models to create a more diverse telecom ecosystem and spur faster innovation, an expanded set of unique offerings and greater opportunities for differentiation. We will continue to partner with existing suppliers, emerging innovators and network equipment partners to share roadmaps and explore expanded opportunities to work together, including in the areas of radio access networks (RAN), next-generation core, virtualized services, orchestration and operations support system/business support system (OSS/BSS) modernization. A future that is interoperable has never been more important to ensure the success of customers and partners.

By enabling advancements in enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low latency communications and massive machine-type communication to enable IoT at scale, 5G offers significant potential for enterprises and governments and in turn creates new opportunities for operators. 5G will ultimately give operators a path to accelerate service innovation and deliver new transformative experiences that are faster, more resilient and more secure, spurred on by software advances to drive transformation at scale.

We have a long history of working with operators as they increasingly embrace software-based solutions and continue to support the advancement of cloud-based networking while helping create new partnership opportunities for existing network equipment providers. Our intention over time is to create modern alternatives to network infrastructure, enabling operators to deliver existing and value-added services – with greater cost efficiency and lower capital investment than they’ve faced in the past.

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AURELIUS subsidiary Office Depot Europe announces divestment of its Nordics business

Aurelius Capital

Munich/Venlo, May 14, 2020 – Office Depot Europe, a portfolio company of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN: DE000A0JK2A8) completed the divestment of Office Depot Nordics to CEO Frank Egholm in a family-office backed Management Buy-Out transaction. The business, also servicing other Nordic markets as well as its core business in Sweden, is set to benefit from further growth due to its strong market position and solid financing.

A successful transformation lays the foundation for the MBO

Office Depot Europe’s decision to divest its business in Sweden and the wider Nordics region comes after a successful transformation of the business since its acquisition by AURELIUS in January 2017. Since then, Office Depot’s Nordics business has expanded its product and service offerings, its retail channel has been integrated into a multi-channel approach, and the business has continued to foster its position among the top 3 leading players in its core market, Sweden.

The goal is to become a market leader

Frank Egholm and the management team are excited to take on the next chapter in Office Depot Nordic’s growth and have great plans for the future, involving the continued digitalisation, product innovation and increased focus on servicing customers across all channels. Entering a MBO transaction is a firm testament of the parties’ confidence in the strength and profitability of the business.

“I’m truly excited to have this opportunity because Office Depot Nordic is a fantastic company. We have come a long way the past few years, but there is still a great potential for evolving the business further. This change will fuel our ambitions of becoming an even more successful player in the Swedish market, and this deal marks an important milestone for us all in achieving that goal. We already have a great team in place to take us there. Our employees are our best asset and we as a management team are ready for the challenge. I’m very pleased to be a part of Office Depot Nordics’ future, says Frank Egholm”.

Divestment of Nordics division follows the earlier divestment of the CEE division 

Office Depot Europe exited its CEE (Central Eastern European) business in November 2019. The transaction also followed a very successful transformation, positioning Office Depot CEE as the local market leader with a wide array of B2B products and services. The exit of Office Depot’s Nordics division follows the same strategic rationale, freeing resources to allow Office Depot Europe to focus on its stronghold European ecommerce centric business activities.

About Office Depot Nordics

Office Depot Nordics has its nucleus in Sweden. Together with the involvement of partners, it is also servicing customers in Norway, Denmark and Finland. With its 450 employees it is one of Sweden’s largest office suppliers covering the Nordics. Office Depot Nordics provide business supplies and services to help their customers work better and become more productive and efficient at work – regardless of their workplace. They are a single source supplier of the latest technology, core office supplies, print, and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.

Categories: News


HPEF III has successfully completed the exit of Odlo

Hercules Capital

On 13 May 2020, HPEF III completed the sale of Odlo to Monte Rosa Sports Holding AG

Odlo is a Swiss company with Norwegian roots. Founded in 1946, Odlo is a pioneer of the three-layer principle and inventor of sports underwear. From 1986, Odlo headquarters are based in Hünenberg, Switzerland, now with approximately 800 employees across multiple locations. Odlo offers performance sportswear in 6 categories: functional sport underwear, running, training, cycling, cross-country skiing and outdoor. Odlo is market leader within functional sports underwear in Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy. The Odlo brand is distributed worldwide in more than 35 countries.

HPEF III acquired Odlo in 2010. Following several years of mixed performance, Odlo was brought back to a trajectory of profitable growth. On 13 May 2020, HPEF III completed the sale of Odlo to Monte Rosa Sports Holding AG.

Categories: News


Swissbit continues its growth with Ardian as a strong partner


Together with the management team, Ardian acquires Swissbit, the manufacturer of secure, high-quality storage and embedded Internet of Things (IoT) solutions

Frankfurt am Main / Bronschhofen, May 13th, 2020. The Swissbit management team and Ardian, a world leading private investment house, announced today that they have signed an agreement to acquire Swissbit Holding AG (“Swissbit”) based in Bronschhofen, Switzerland. The company is a leading global manufacturer of storage and embedded IoT solutions with its own production facilities in Germany.

In this transaction, Ardian will acquire a majority stake in Swissbit. Swissbit’s existing management team led by Silvio Muschter, Thomas Luft, Vincenzo Esposito and Matthias Poppel will significantly reinvest in the company as part of the transaction and will hold a substantial stake in the company, thereby ensuring continuity in the management of the business. With the help of Ardian, the positive growth trend will continue to accelerate. The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.
Swissbit is the only independent European provider of NAND flash-based storage and embedded IoT solutions for demanding niche applications in a wide range of end markets. The company manufactures high-quality storage media such as SD and microSD cards, SSD hard drives, and USB memory modules for mission-critical applications. The products are manufactured exclusively at Swissbit’s state-of-the-art production facility in Berlin, which commenced operations in October 2019.
Such solutions are used for example in industrial automation applications and network communication technology, as well as in the security sector and in medical technology. Swissbit’s embedded IoT storage solutions are highly relevant especially in the fiscal and security segments.

The company’s storage solutions stand out due to their high degree of customization for specialized storage and computing applications.
Swissbit was created through a management buyout from the Siemens Memory division in 2001. With its innovative strength and extensive research and development capacities, Swissbit is optimally positioned to benefit from the rapidly evolving IoT and edge computing market trends in a wide range of applications.

The company currently has more than 700 customers, including numerous renowned industrial, medical and technology companies. Together with Ardian as a strong global partner, Swissbit intends to continue to accelerate the internationalization of the company in North America and Asia. In addition, management aims to increase the considerable growth potential in the embedded IoT segment, thanks to the variety of new, rapidly growing applications for Swissbit’s specialized storage solutions.

Dirk Wittneben, Managing Director and Head of Ardian Expansion in Germany, said: “The main factors for our investment in the company were Swissbit’s convincing and promising business model combined with an excellent management team with many years of industry experience and strong technological expertise. We look forward to working in partnership with the management and supporting the company as it continues down its path of growth towards a successful future.”

Silvio Muschter, CEO of Swissbit, added: “The digitization and networking of devices in the Internet of Things drives the demand for secure, high-quality storage products from our memory division and the security solutions from our embedded IoT division. Above all, data is the most valuable asset. At Swissbit, we see it as our central task to reliably store and protect this data. For this reason, we have systematically created a new, state-of-the-art electronics production facility in Berlin, set up the Embedded IoT business unit and successfully developed innovative hardware-based security products in recent years. With Ardian, we have found a financially strong and globally connected partner for our further planned growth in new markets.”


Swissbit AG is the only independent European manufacturer of storage and embedded IoT solutions for demanding applications. Swissbit combines its unique competences in storage and embedded IoT technology with its expertise in advanced packaging to store and protect data reliably in industrial, NetCom, automotive, medical and finance applications as well as across the Internet of Things (IoT). The company develops and manufactures industrial-grade storage and security products “Made in Germany” with long-term availability, high reliability and custom optimization. Swissbit’s storage range includes SSDs with PCIe and SATA interface such as mSATA, Slim SATA, CFast™, M.2 and 2.5” as well as CompactFlash, USB flash drives, SD, micro SD memory cards and managed NAND BGAs. Security products for embedded IoT applications are available in various application specific editions as USB flash drives, SD, and micro SD memory cards. Swissbit was founded in 2001 through a management buy-out of Siemens AG, and has offices in Switzerland, Germany, USA, Japan and Taiwan.


Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$96bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base.
Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world.
Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 680 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,000 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
Ardian on Twitter @Ardian


Swissbit: Roger Knobel, Daniele Tedesco, Silvio Muschter, Vincenzo Esposito, Thomas Luft, Matthias Poppel, Tony Cerreta
Financial: Deloitte (C. Tattersall, M. Horwat)
Legal: Bär & Karrer (C. Neeracher, R. Annasohn)
Tax: Deloitte (F. Poltera, R. Hintermann)
M&A and Debt Advisory: GCA Altium (A. Grünwald, R. Sauser, G. Baldwin, T. Weber, M. Schlup, D. Schreiber)

Ardian: Dirk Wittneben, Marc Abadir, Yannic Metzger, Nicolas Münzer, Marlon Sandvoss
Commercial: McKinsey & Company (T. Eichner, H. Bauer, P. Ernst)
Financial: Deloitte (E. Sachsalber, N. Nobereit)
Legal: Latham & Watkins (B. Hesse, S. Pauls) / Niederer Kraft Frey (T. Spillmann, P. Peyer)
Tax: Taxess (G. Thomas, R. Schäfer) / Loyens & Loeff (B. Baumgartner, F. Sutter)
M&A and Debt Advisory: Lincoln International (Ø. Bjordal, C. Weis)

Tel: +49 69 79409024
Tel: +49 69 7940902

Categories: News