Our aim is to increase the value of the firm which is achieved through identifying and creating new business opportunities or remodelling existing operations. Company value creation is based on organic growth, domestic and international business acquisitions, streamlining operations, and improving market position and value chain efficiency.

We invest especially in Finnish companies many of whom operate internationally.

Typical MB Funds investee company

The sizes of our investees vary but most commonly they are well-established and growing mid-sized companies from different sectors. Many of them have an entrepreneurial background. They range from the service sector to heavy industry, the corporate turnover usually being from a few million euros to hundreds of millions at the time of investment. The foreseeable growth potential, strong track record and low cyclical risk are seen as advantages in the valuation of potential enterprises.

MB Funds investment model

We are the major shareholder in our investee companies. However, the management and other key persons are always owners of the company and they are provided with motivating and rewarding incentive programmes. The management’s financial resources are also considered when designing the company’s capital structure.

MB Funds ownership period

Our target ownership period is approximately 3-7 years. The ownership period varies with every company and is based on the growth strategy and exit plans decided together with the management. The final ownership period is determined by the market situation as well as company growth and value development.

Investment situations

MB Funds has broad experience in business transformations and acquisitions. We also support entrepreneurs looking for the next growth leap. Our strengths are in supporting companies in internationalisation, implementing new growth plans, ownership restructuring and management resources enhancement. We invest in firms that apply new business concepts and grow rapidly in traditional industries or are fresh success stories in completely new industries. The projects are always carried out together with the company shareholders and management.

Typical investment situations for MB Funds:

  • Rapid organic growth
  • Rapid expansion through acquisitions
  • International growth
  • Management buy-out
  • Management buy-in
  • Remodelling the business concept
  • Succession issues in family-held companies
  • Divestments and spin-offs from large corporations
  • Privatisations
  • Delistings
Our aim is to increase the value of the company, which can be achieved through identifying and creating new business opportunities or remodelling existing operations.
Kari Rytkönen, Partner

Investments

InCar Group

Industry:
Vehicle damage inspection and collision repair services
Location:
Helsinki
Project team:
Juha Tukiainen, Marko Palmunen and Aapo Eskelinen
Website:
www.incar.fi
  • Investment year 2019
  • Net sales E2019PF 64 M€
  • Personnel 469

InCar Group is Finland’s leading vehicle damage inspection and collision repair service provider for insurance companies. The company with its partners has a nationwide network of approximately 50 workshops and customers include all major insurance companies in Finland as well as private car owners.

MB Funds acquired a majority stake of InCar from a foreign private equity firm in the summer of 2019 in connection with the A-Katsastus Group acquisition.

Vehicle collision and windshield repair services are increasingly concentrating for workshops that specialises in damage repairs. Development of insurance companies’ service processes and vehicle technology as well as the customer benefits of spesialised service offering have supported the described trend.

Under MB’s ownership the growth of InCar is expected to continue strong and the company’s service offering will be further developed.

A-Katsastus Group

"We promote road safety"

Industry:
Vehicle inspection and drivers’ examination services
Location:
Helsinki
Project team:
Juha Tukiainen, Marko Palmunen, Aapo Eskelinen
Website:
www.a-katsastus.com
  • Investment year 2019
  • Net sales E2019PF 72 M€
  • Personnel 959
A-Katsastus Group

A-Katsastus Group is Finland’s leading provider of vehicle inspection, drivers’ examination, registration and road traffic licensing services. The company has nationwide station network and it provides drivers’ exams and license services under an exclusive nationwide governmental contract with Traficom.

A-Katsastus Group returned to Finnish ownership as MB Funds acquired a majority stake of the company from a foreign private equity firm in the summer of 2019.

Over the past years the inspection industry has experienced notable transformation due to the development of service concepts and regulatory reforms in the industry.

TAPAUS

“TAPAUS creates positive encounters”

Industry:
Event marketing and production
Location:
Espoo
Project team:
Kimmo Vanne, Vesa Keränen
Website:
www.tapaus.fi/en
  • Investment year 2019
  • Net sales (2018) 30 M€
  • Personnel 80
TAPAUS

Event management firm TAPAUS, founded in 2012, believes that successful business is created from interaction between people. TAPAUS focuses on planning and producing corporate events, such as employee events, B2B customer events, B2C brand activation events, exhibition stands and experience centres. TAPAUS’ customer base consists of large Finnish corporates. TAPAUS offers a turnkey service and takes complete responsibility of organizing a successful event for its customers.

MB Funds began discussions with TAPAUS’ owners in the early 2019. A shared vision for the future was soon found and preparations for accelerating business growth and reaching international markets led to the ownership arrangement in May 2019. In connection to the MB Funds transaction, TAPAUS acquired Roof Productions Oy that focuses on B2C brand activation events. The combined entity has net sales of over 30 million euros.

In current digitalising business environment, offline events are becoming fewer but increasingly more important when they are organised. Companies want visitors to leave the event with a wow effect which increasingly creates demand for professional organiser for the event. Companies also have less and less in-house capabilities of organising impressive offline events by themselves which leaves room for professional service providers to grow. Offline events continue to be one of the most important channels in B2B marketing and brand building

Planning and producing corporate events is a growing market. Competitive advantage can be sourced by finding the right combination of creative work culture and internal processes that guarantee quality and stability. TAPAUS is the clear market leader in Finland and the largest player in the Nordics. The company has a strong foothold as the event producer for the largest companies in Finland. The key personnel of TAPAUS are pioneers in the industry and have long experience in professional event management.

Raksystems

"Taking care of national property since 1989"

Industry:
Property consulting
Location:
Vantaa
Project team:
Kimmo Vanne, Marko Palmunen
Website:
www.raksystems.fi
  • Investment year 2018
  • Net sales (2019PF) 36 M€
  • Personnel 330
Raksystems

Raksystems, founded in 1989, is a company specialising in property wellbeing. As the leading building condition assessment and indoor air service provider in Finland, Raksystems has completed more than 150,000 condition evaluations and surveys, as well as planned and supervised thousands of renovation projects. Raksystems offers comprehensive service packages that retain the wellbeing, value and functionality of customers’ properties and ensure healthier living environment for the users of those properties.

MB Funds began discussions with Raksystems’ owners in the early 2018. A shared vision for the future was quickly found and preparations for accelerating business growth and reaching international markets led to the ownership arrangement in late 2018.

Raksystems is the clear market leader in property condition evaluations in Finland. The company focuses its services on existing buildings, which offer a large and stable market. As the properties age, the value of the good condition and proactive maintenance becomes more apparent. Raksystems offers expertise that helps property owners with issues connected to the aging of properties:

  • Proactive maintenance – building maintenance requires more expertise and resources
  • Humidity management – the significance of humidity management grows throughout the life cycle of the property
  • Indoor air quality – indoor air problems are a growing problem especially in the public sector
  • Energy efficiency – more attention is paid to the energy efficiency of the properties
  • Quality of construction – a significant number of future problems could be solved with better quality of construction work

Under MB Funds ownership, Raksystems’ organic growth has accelerated and the business has received an extra boost from selected add-on acquisitions. Raksystems entered the Swedish market by acquiring the Swedish Dry-IT AB in May 2019.

Freebo

“Freebo – A solar plant for every home”

Industry:
Solar energy systems
Location:
Oulu
Project team:
Vesa Keränen, Kimmo Vanne
Website:
www.freeboenergy.com
  • Investment year 2018
  • Net sales (2018) 19 M€
  • Personnel 168
Freebo

Freebo is the market leader in small-scale solar energy systems in Finland, having delivered over 6,000 solar energy systems to its customers. The turnkey Freebo solutions have made clean and emission-free small-scale production of solar energy a more attractive option for households. The company serves their customers everywhere in Finland through its 16 regional units and has started its international operations in Sweden in early 2019.

MB Funds become the majority shareholder of the company in January 2018. The founders of Freebo were looking for an experienced partner to support the company’s growth and reach international markets. The discussions with MB Funds started in the fall of 2017 and quickly led to a shared vision of the priorities in business development and a new ownership arrangement. The previous owners continued as shareholders in operative roles within the company.

The energy industry is going through a transitional period, and decentralized energy production, such as small-scale solar energy production in single-family houses, is quickly gaining more ground. The small-scale solar energy production capacity connected to the electricity network has more than doubled every year in Finland for several years now, and this trend is expected to continue. Despite the strong market growth, only 1% of single-family houses in Finland have a solar electricity production system, which is clearly less than the European Union average. The development and growth prospects in Freebo’s key international markets, such as Sweden, are quite similar.

Freebo has done groundbreaking work in making turnkey renewable energy solutions available to households. The company’s business model emphasises an active direct sales concept targeted to households  – and the desire to serve customers in their homes. Freebo makes over 22,000 customer visits each year and strongly invests in sales training to make sure every visit leads to a satisfied customer.

Under MB Funds ownership, Freebo has continued investing in developing the company’s services and processes in Finland. The aim is to offer customers the best service experience and the best products and service solutions in the industry. Freebo has invested strongly in strengthening their organization and developing operating models in order to prepare for international markets. This has made expanding the business into Sweden possible in 2019.

Protacon

“Protacon – Your Digital Lifecycle Partner”

Industry:
Industrial software and digitalization services
Location:
Jyväskylä
Project team:
Juha Tukiainen, Aapo Eskelinen
Website:
www.protacon.com
  • Investment year 2017
  • Net sales (2018PF) 34 M€
  • Personnel 371
Protacon

Protacon is a Finnish company specializing in industrial automation, software and digitalization services for customers mainly in industrial sectors such as pulp & paper, energy and marine.  Protacon offers software development, industrial automation, quality assurance and process digitalisation services. The company has its own software products that can make the customers’ production and service processes more efficient.

Entrepreneur Timo Akselin founded Protacon in 1990, and under his lead the company grew into a significant service provider in the industry. In the late 1990’s, the company added software expertise to its services in addition to engineering services. In the summer of 2017, MB Funds became the majority owner of Protacon to support and finance the development and growth of the company.

Industrial digitalisation, automation and industrial internet are interesting and growing industries. The significance of digitalisation is expected to grow considerably in the industrial sector within the next years. The added value produced by industrial internet is based on the data it helps to gather and produce. The right processes can refine the data produced by industrial internet into a more usable format. The network helps the automatic real-time analytics organise the vast amount of data into usable key figures and progress reports. The produced data can help optimise and control the processes automatically.

Protacon has successfully managed high-quality customer projects relating to digitalisation, automation and industrial internet, as well as produced the required services. The company’s customer base is very diverse, from a wide area and a wide array of industries.

With MB Funds’ support, Protacon has made several acquisitions that have reinforced their operating model and renewed their service processes. The company keeps growing and reaching new international frontiers.

 

 

 

Debora

“The joy of helping”

Industry:
Home care services
Location:
Helsinki
Project team:
Eero Niiva, Kimmo Vanne, Hannu Puhakka
Website:
debora.fi
  • Investment year 2017
  • Net sales (2018) 25 M€
  • Personnel 660 (HTV)
Debora

Debora, founded in 1999, is a Finnish social and health service company operating nationwide in Finland. The company provides home care services for the elderly, disabled, and families with children. Key services include home care and home nursing, personal assistance, and outpatient services for families with children. Debora acts as a partner in outsourced public sector social and health services and is an active service provider in the care and support activities based on freedom of choice and service vouchers. Debora makes thousands of home visits each month and operates in over 100 municipalities.

MB Funds became the majority owner of Debora in July 2017 after purchasing the majority stake from the company founders, the Ritola family. CEO Elisabeth Ritola remained as shareholder and other key personnel also became shareholders.

The amount of the elderly in the Finnish population is expected to grow quickly in the 2020’s and the following decades. According to the estimations, the amount of people over 65 years of age will increase from 1,2 million to 1,5 million by the end of 2030’s. The fastest-growing segment is people over 85 years of age, as the baby boomers are aging, and life expectancy is growing.

The aging population creates financial pressure for the society. Elderly care in housing service units has already reached high levels. Home care is an efficient way to restrain the rising costs and secure a dignified old age for everyone in the future. At the moment, the public sector is responsible for nearly 90% of home care services, the total value of which is 900 million euros. In the future, more private sector operators are needed to improve cost-effectiveness and ensure service quality.

Debora is one of the leading home care service providers in Finland. The company invests in competent personnel, efficient systems, and developing new service products in order to fulfil its purpose and offer a good day-to-day life to all its customers.

Debora made five business acquisitions in 2018 and expanded to new areas like Raasepori, Rovaniemi, Porvoo and Heinola. In 2018, Debora also bought the personal assistance company Sortso Oy, which increased the company’s annual turnover by approximately 6 million euros. The organic growth of the company is expected to continue for the coming next years.

Kotkamills

"The game changer"

Industry:
Forest industry
Location:
Kotka
Project team:
Hannu Puhakka, Eero Niiva
Website:
www.kotkamills.com
  • Investment year 2015
  • Net sales (2018) 353 M€
  • Personnel 543
Kotkamills

Kotkamills is an integrated forest industry company focusing on folding boxboard and food service boards, laminating paper and sawmill products. The company’s production site is located in Kotka and 90% of its products are exported mainly to Europe, but also to other continents. In the fall of 2015, Kotkamills invested 170 million euros to close the printing paper machine and built a new high-quality board machine. This machine, with baseboard, laminating and packaging lines, is one of the most advanced in the world and one of the largest in capacity (400,000 tonnes) in Europe.

Kotkamills aims to reach a globally significant market position as a producer of cupstock and food service board with its unique plastic-free and completely recyclable solution. The company has already reached 10% market share in folding boxboard production in Europe. The customers include brand companies selling products to consumers as well as packaging manufacturers.

As a manufacturer of laminating paper, Kotkamills is one of three largest companies in the world with the annual production of 165,000 tonnes. The company’s product is used for coating materials that are in heavy use in furniture manufacturing, building materials and the demanding plywood solutions in the transport industry. The principal markets are in Europe and Asia.

Kotkamills is also a significant producer of whitewood in Europe with its 210,000 m³ capacity. The sawmill operations satisfy the company’s need for woodchip required by the board production. Central parts of Kotkamills industry are, in addition to the sawmill, the CTMP plant producing chemi-thermomechanical pulp needed for baseboard, the pulp mill producing unbleached pulp for laminate, the processing plant for pulp made of recycled paper, and steam and power plants.

MB Funds, together with the management team behind the board innovation, bought the shares in a management buy-in from the private equity firm Open Gate Capital. To finance the investment, the purchase of shares was backed by simultaneously issuing bonds worth 105 million euros. The project was also backed by outside investors. Other Kotkamills key personnel also became shareholders.

The global market for consumer packaging board that could use Kotkamills products amounts to 12,3 million tonnes. In Europe, the market is growing approximately 3% annually. The growth is fastest in food service board, which is replacing plastic as a material. The eating habits of people are expected to become even more focused on fast food and the takeaway culture, which promises increasing demand for disposable food packaging. At the same time, regulating the use of plastics has become more severe especially in Europe. The EU has made the decision to prohibit the use of disposable plastic cups, plates and cutlery by the end of 2021, since plastic has become a significant environmental threat for the plants and animals in the oceans as well as many land areas. Board products, especially ones that are plastic-free like Kotkamills products, have a huge market potential as a replacement for current plastic products made of polyethylene.

Kotkamills’ growth strategy has been based on strategic board investment, the development of board products, launching products, and forming relationships with customers. The board production and sales began in the fall of 2016 and exceeded 150,000 tonnes by the end of 2017. In 2018, the sales were over 240,000 tonnes, and the growth will continue throughout 2019 and 2020.

Dieta

"Food brings us together"

Industry:
Professional kitchen equipment manufacturer and turnkey provider
Location:
Helsinki
Project team:
Marko Palmunen, Vesa Keränen, Hannu Puhakka
Website:
www.dieta.fi
  • Investment year 2015
  • Net sales (2018) 46 M€
  • Personnel 187
Dieta

Dieta, founded in 1993, is one of the leading turnkey providers of professional kitchen equipment in Finland. Dieta manufactures, imports and markets kitchen equipment, instruments and tabletop products, as well as offers maintenance and technical services primarily to restaurants, hotels, and educational units and hospitals in the public sector. Dieta’s subsidiary Dietatec is the world’s leading manufacturer of cook-mix-chill kettles for professional kitchens. In addition to the Finnish market, Dieta also operates in Sweden and Estonia.

MB Funds became the majority owner of Dieta in February 2015 after purchasing the shares from the company founders and other shareholders. Managing director Juhani Järvenpää continued as a minority owner of the company.

Global trends like urbanization and developments in the restaurant industry, caused by busy everyday life and the search for new experiences, increase the demand for Dieta’s products and services. Households become smaller and a growing percentage of meals is eaten outside of the home. It is estimated that the demand for restaurant services will grow faster than the economy on average. Dieta is the only operator in the market with the capacity to serve their customers with a competitive selection of appliances, equipment and services both in the kitchen as well as the dining areas.

The widest selection of products makes Dieta one of Finland’s leading operators in its field. Under MB Funds ownership, the range of products and services has been improved to better meet the changing needs of the customers. The company has also determinedly expanded in the Nordics. In the years 2016-2017, Dieta enhanced its position in Sweden through two add-on acquisitions.

 

 

Makua Foods

“Tasty food products and confectionary for retail”

Industry:
Food products
Location:
Jyväskylä
Project team:
Hannu Puhakka, Marko Palmunen
Website:
www.makuafoods.fi
  • Investment year 2014
  • Net sales (2018) 16 M€
  • Personnel 86
Makua Foods

Makua Foods manufactures, sources and imports pioneering products in chosen food categories. The company’s operations are based on long-term cooperation within the domestic market. Makua Foods actively searches for new interesting products for consumers and develops new operating models together with its retail customers.

In 2014, MB Funds and Makua Foods management acquired a small liquorice company Makulaku Lakritsa Oy to act as an anchor company and to find more products suitable for the concept.

The demand for food products grows at an even rate and changes happen constantly within the industry. The grocery stores face severe price competition and are constantly searching for new products. Makua Foods aims to work as a small and agile operator to find new niche products that entice consumers and have less price competition.

In 2015, Makua Foods acquired Arho Nordic Oy (its name subsequently changed to Green Taste Oy), expanding the product range to Myrttinen pickled cucumbers, Pappagallo ice creams, Memmas Knossos olive oils and San Benedetto beverages. In 2016, Makulaku Lakritsa invested in a modern production line, which has led to a strong increase in the exports of liquorice.

Transval

”It’s All About Efficiency”

Industry:
Logistics outsourcing services
Exit method:
Sale to industrial buyer
Project team:
Matti Mertsola, Marko Palmunen
Website:
www.transval.fi
  • Investment year 2010
  • Exit year 2019
  • Net sales at exit 132 M€
  • Personnel at exit 3287
Transval

Suomen Transval Group offers internal logistics outsourcing and HR services in Finland and the Baltic countries. Transval’s customer base mainly consists of international or regional companies in the logistic and industrial sector as well as retail chains. The services include streamlining material flow in warehouses, terminals and industrial operations as well as flexible human resourcing and consulting in continuous logistic process development.

MB Funds, along with key management, acquired Suomen Transval in June 2010 from the main shareholder and company founder Kari Valtanen. Mr. Valtanen remained a significant minority shareholder in the company.

Under MB ownership, Transval’s development and growth have been strong and the turnover has grown from 27 million euros to 132 million euros. In June 2014, Transval acquired the industrial packing solutions company Vindea Oy from Panostaja Oyj. In 2017, Transval acquired Humanlink, a company offering shelving services for retail customers in Finland and the Baltic countries.

In January 2019, the entire share capital of Suomen Transval Group Oy was sold to Posti Group Oyj.

Parmaco

”We rent real buildings”

Industry:
Movable rental spaces
Exit method:
Sale to private equity firm
Project team:
Juha Tukiainen, Hannu Puhakka
Website:
www.parmaco.fi
  • Investment year 2012
  • Exit year 2018
  • Net sales at exit 101 M€
  • Personnel at exit 200
Parmaco

Parmaco designs, manufactures and rents pre-fabricated high-quality modular buildings primarily to municipalities in Finland and Sweden for use as day-cares and schools, but also as nursing homes and office spaces. The buildings are typically designed to meet the customers’ specific needs and rented for 3-10 years periods.

Parmaco is an expert in rentable buildings and aims to make building rentals an integral part of municipal strategies both in Finland and Sweden. Parmaco wants to utilize its concept to ease the economic situation in municipalities, improve predictability and eliminate risks that come with ownership.

MB Funds acquired the custom-made modular rental space business, with 33,000 m2 of space as well as production sites in Leppävirta and Pyhäjoki, from Cramo in 2012. The acquired businesses were named Parmaco.

During MB Funds’ ownership Parmaco invested strongly in growth. In early stages, the most important measures were activating and organising sales and developing production. The industrial hall business that were not a part of the core business were sold to focus specifically on high-quality movable day-care and school rentals. By the end of 2018, Parmaco’s rental fleet covered 200,000 m2, consisting mainly of day-cares and schools rented to municipalities.

In 2015, Parmaco expanded its operations into Swedish markets. In the same year, Parmaco also began designing and manufacturing standard buildings, which offered a more sophisticated, faster and more efficient concept for schools and day-cares. Sweden has proved to be an interesting growth market, and in 2018 Parmaco built in Sweden the largest movable school building in Europe covering approximately 13,000 m2.

In the fall of 2018, Parmaco was sold to an international group of investors led by Terra Firma.

Cityterveys

”Quality diagnostics available for everyone”

Industry:
Medical diagnostic services
Exit method:
Sale to industrial buyer
Project team:
Juha Tukiainen, Kimmo Vanne, Aapo Eskelinen
  • Investment year 2015
  • Exit year 2017
  • Net sales at exit 20 M€
  • Personnel at exit 80
Cityterveys

Cityterveys, founded in 2014, focused exclusively on medical diagnostic services and operated independently of large medical chains and traditional health centers. The company’s services included magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-ray, ultrasound scans, mammography screening and laboratory testing. Cityterveys utilized new technologies and its customers included private and public customers, occupational health care organisations, and other medical service providers.

Cityterveys was founded by Dr Martti Kiuru. In its early stages, the company opened clinics specialising in magnetic resonance imaging in Helsinki, Tampere and Vaasa. When the expansion of the network required further resources, MB Funds joined in to support and finance the growth of Cityterveys in 2015.

Cityterveys grew rapidly with the help of MB Funds resources, reaching a nationwide network of over 25 clinics. The company conducted several outsourcing projects concerning diagnostic services in occupational health care and primary health care. Cityterveys quickly grew into the largest magnetic resonance imaging provider in Finland. The success was based on the customer-oriented operating model, modern IT-systems and affordable pricing. By focusing exclusively on diagnostics, the company could make the pricing lower and thus better available to patients.

In the summer of 2017, Cityterveys was sold to Synlab, the leading medical diagnostics provider in Europe.

 

 

Forchem

Industry:
Chemical production
Exit method:
Sale to industrial buyer
Project team:
Eero Niiva, Juhani Suomela
  • Investment year 2007
  • Exit year 2013
  • Net sales at exit 135 M€
  • Personnel at exit 42

Forchem is the second-largest tall oil fractionation plant in Europe. Under MB Funds ownership, the products were sold through the company’s sales organisation to nearly a hundred industry customers mainly in Europe. Forchem’s raw material is tall oil, which is a byproduct of the pulp industry. Forchem purchased the oil from over 20 pulp mills, mainly from the Nordic countries.

Forchem’s production plant was located in Rauma, Finland, and production began in late 2002. The annual distillation capacity was approximately 175,000 tonnes and the company had 40 employees. All products were natural products made with 100% renewable raw materials. Typical end uses were alkyd paints, diesel fuel additives, printing inks, adhesives, machining lubricants and detergents.

MB Funds acquired Forchem from four private equity investors specialised in early-stages companies and two management owners in early 2007. In the transaction, a group of key personnel also became company shareholders.

During the six years of MB Funds ownership, Forchem’s organic growth was rapid and the turnover grew by 80%. The production-oriented operating model was changed into a market-oriented model focusing on the customer. The raw material supplier base was diversified and the company developed new products to meet the changing needs of the customers. The fractionation operations were developed to keep the supply high under all circumstances. Forchem established its position as an industry leader and a product development partner for several key customers.

In the fall of 2013, Forchem was sold to the Portuguese industrial company Respol, one of leading rosin upgraders in Europe and a previous Forchem customer. After the acquisition, Respol became a significant company in the sector of crude tall oil-based industrial products.

Norpe

Industry:
Refrigeration solutions
Exit method:
Sale to industrial buyer
Project team:
Eero Niiva
  • Investment year 2005
  • Exit year 2013
  • Net sales at exit 135 M€

Under MB Funds ownership, Norpe was the leading manufacturer of refrigeration solutions for food retail and food industry. The company’s main products were supermarket fixtures, self-condensing plug-in equipment and separate condensing units with included installation services. The company also ran an efficient service network in all Nordic countries.

In 2005, MB Funds and the company management acquired Norpe from Hollming Oy, a family company from Rauma.

Under MB Funds ownership, Norpe’s turnover grew by more than 50% and the company expanded its direct exports into new markets, such as Germany and Denmark. Norpe exported products to 25 different countries. The company also developed new energy-efficient and user-friendly refrigeration equipment. Norpe’s strategic target was to become a major service provider for 25 largest food retail chains and strengthen its position in the convenience store sector in the Nordic countries.

In the fall of 2013, Norpe was sold after bidding to German family business Viessmann Group, one of the leading international manufacturers of heating systems, industrial systems and cold generation systems, with turnover exceeding 2 billion euros. After the acquisition, the name Norpe was changed in accordance to the Viessmann brand.

Mainio Vire

Industry:
Elderly care services
Exit method:
Sale to private equity firm
  • Investment year 2004
  • Exit year 2011
  • Net sales at exit 59 M€

A-Katsastus

Industry:
Vehicle inspections
Exit method:
Sale to private equity firm
  • Investment year 2003
  • Exit year 2006
  • Net sales at exit 97 M€

MB Funds became the main owner of A-Katsastus Ltd. (formerly known as Suomen Autokatsastus, Finnish Vehicle Inspections) in April 2003, when the company, previously state-owned, was sold by competitive tender. The sale was the next logical step for the state, following the company’s transformation, first into a public utility and then into a company, thus freeing competition in the sector.

Once MB Funds had joined the owners, the company strategy was renewed to aim for the goals of growth and internationalisation. The downward trend of the company’s Finnish market share was reversed by means of the establishment of new inspection stations and the acquisition of existing stations. After the Danish market had been freed for competition, A-Katsastus soon became the second largest operator on the market, with the establishment of more than 20 stations, and was outstripped only by the previous monopoly. The first stations in Russia were also established and the company’s standing in Poland and Latvia was strengthened. In addition to driving licence and vehicle inspection operations, testing was selected to complement the company’s business operations. To this end, Test World Ltd., a company based in Inari, Lapland, and operating in the field of vehicle and tyre winter testing, was acquired.

During the period under the ownership of MB Funds, which lasted less than three years, the A-Katsastus turnover was increased by more than 50 percent, profits were multiplied and the share of international operations grew significantly. In 2005, A-Katsastus’s turnover totaled approximately €97 million.

Inspecta

Industry:
Technical inspection, testing and certifications
Exit method:
Sale to private equity firm
  • Investment year 2002
  • Exit year 2007
  • Net sales at exit 112 M€

Inspecta provides versatile testing, inspection and certification services in the Nordic countries. Under MB Funds’ ownership the company’s operational area covered Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia and its client base was broad, with the central customer segments including energy and process sectors, property sector, construction and manufacturing industries, and infrastructure and service sectors.

MB purchased Inspecta from the Finnish state in 2002, after public tender proceedings. In connection with the transaction, SFS Sertifiointi (SFS Certification Ltd.) was merged with Inspecta, and its owners became minority owners of Inspecta. At the time, Inspecta’s turnover was around €18 million. The implementation of a growth strategy was initiated in the new product and market segments, with company acquisitions being an important part of the growth strategy right from the outset.

Under the ownership of MB Funds, Inspecta acquired nearly 20 new companies. An important internationalisation process began in 2005, with the purchase of the Latvian company, JSC IBNA, in April, followed by the December acquisition of the Swedish inspection operations of Det Norske Veritas. The acquisition in Sweden more than doubled Inspecta’s turnover.

In 2007, after successful add-on acquisitions and having achieved a sound profitability level, Inspecta had more than 1,000 employees and a turnover exceeding €110 million. Furthermore, the company’s prospects for additional growth were favorable, as was participation in the consolidation process ongoing in the sector.

In the summer of 2007, Inspecta was sold by MB Funds and its other owners to the private equity investor, 3i.

Medivire

Industry:
Occupational health care services
Exit method:
Sale to industrial buyer
  • Investment year 2000
  • Exit year 2007
  • Net sales at exit 109 M€

In February 2000, the privatisation process at Medivire Occupational Health Services Ltd. led to MB Funds become the main owner of the company, with other owners being the state, Ilmarinen pension insurance company and the operative management. In 2004, MB Funds purchased the state’s minority share. Medivire Occupational Health Services evolved from an internal, occupational health service unit of the state to become the leading company in the field. It was the only nationwide company specialising in occupational health services and was a market leader in terms of both size and advanced operational methods.

Under the ownership of MB Funds, Medivire Occupational Health Services almost tripled in operational volume and its profits multiplied. The challenging goal of turning an internal, state service unit into a market leader in an extremely competitive field proved to be a success thanks to long-term development methods.

The Medivire Occupational Health Services turnover totaled €109 million in 2007. MB Funds exited the ownership in the company by selling it to Suomen Terveystalo in August, 2007.

Panda

Industry:
Confectionery industry
Exit method:
Sale to industrial buyer
  • Investment year 2000
  • Exit year 2005
  • Net sales at exit 56 M€

MB Funds became the main shareholder in Panda in October 2000, after the Norwegian conglomerate, Rieber & Son, had decided to withdraw from operations in the confectionery sector. The operative management of the company joined the owners with a 15% share. Panda’s main market was Finland. The major export countries included the Nordic countries, the UK, the US and Poland. In Finland, Panda was the market leader in liquorice products and chocolate confectionery.

Under the ownership of MB Funds, Panda’s strategy was to be among the top two or three suppliers in selected product categories. The market position was improved, especially in liquorice products, and the market share in Finland increased to around 50 percent. Market shares were also considerably increased in central export markets. Panda’s growth was clearly more significant than general growth within the market, and profitability was substantially increased. In 2005, Panda’s turnover reached over €56 million.

MB Funds relinquished its ownership in Panda in June 2005, when Felix Abba, a part of the Norwegian conglomerate Orkla, acquired the company.

CPS Color

Industry:
Colorants and tinting systems
  • Investment year 2000
  • Exit year 2005
  • Net sales at exit 157 M€

Suomen Gallup

Industry:
Market research and opinion surveys
  • Investment year 1999
  • Exit year 2001
  • Net sales at exit 37 M€

Suomen Gallup was a pioneer in opinion and market research in Finland. The company was founded in 1945 and is a founder member of Gallup International, which operates in over 50 countries.

In 2000, Suomen Gallup Group had net sales of €30.7 million and employed 650 persons. Besides market research in Finland, through its subsidiaries and affiliate companies Suomen Gallup has had a profound influence on market and media research in the Baltic countries and Russia since the end of the 1980s.

MB Funds purchased Suomen Gallup from the relief association of the Institute of Marketing in July 1999. The management of Suomen Gallup and the Institute of Marketing relief association became shareholders in MDC Research Group Oy, the group’s parent company. Suomen Gallup Group developed through acquisitions and concerted efforts in Russia. In spring 2001 the company was sold to British Taylor Nelson Sofres Ltd., one of the leading companies worldwide in the sector. The total value of the disposal was €50.5 million.

Suomen Rehu

Industry:
Feed industry
  • Investment year 1999
  • Exit year 2003
  • Net sales at exit 175 M€

Enermet

Industry:
Electricity meters
  • Investment year 1999
  • Exit year 2006
  • Net sales at exit 81 M€

Engel Group

Industry:
Cleaning, real estate, security and care services
Exit method:
Sale to industrial buyer
  • Investment year 1999
  • Exit year 2004
  • Net sales at exit 203 M€

At the end of 1998, MB Funds acquired the Engel group by competitive tender, following the state’s privatisation procedure. The state remained a minority shareholder and the management of the company joined the new ownership. After the purchase, in spring 1999, an issue of shares targeted at the entire personnel, was organised.

The Engel group offered cleaning, security and care services. During the period of its ownership, MB Funds was actively involved in the development of Engel’s operations. As a result of both organic growth and 20 add-on acquisitions, the company expanded, becoming the market leader. In 2004, the Engel group turnover totaled approximately €203 million and it had a staff of around 7,000 persons.

MB Funds sold the Engel group to ISS Finland in June 2004. The purchase price, excluding debt, was €192 million.

Arca Systems

Industry:
Plastics industry
  • Investment year 1998
  • Exit year 2002 / 2005
  • Net sales at exit 195 M€

Tryckinvest i Norden AB – Helprint Oy

Industry:
Printing
  • Investment year 1997
  • Exit year 1998
  • Net sales at exit 190 M€

MB Funds made an investment in Tryckinvest i Norden AB (“TINA”) in December 1996. The investment was made together with UBS Capital, a Swiss-registered private equity investor. TINA was formed through the purchase of Sweden’s leading printing company, comprising the printing houses Interprint Kungens Kurva and Sörmlands Grafiska. The company’s management became shareholders of TINA.

TINA grew through an acquisition in Finland in September 1997. Helprint Oy, owned by A-Lehdet, became part of the TINA Group and A-Lehdet became a shareholder. At this stage MB Funds made a further investment. Helprint’s management also became shareholders in TINA. Net sales of the TINA Group including Helprint in 1997, the year of the investment, amounted to SEK 1.6 billion.

Following a number of technical and structural adjustments, TINA listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange on 5 June 1998. At the same time MB Funds realized part of its investment. After two competing public bids were made for the company, the entire share capital of the company was sold to Canadian Quebecor Printing Inc.

Noviant

Industry:
Chemicals industry
  • Investment year 1997
  • Exit year 2000
  • Net sales at exit 200 M€

Finnish Chemicals

Industry:
Paper industry chemicals
  • Investment year 1996
  • Exit year 2005
  • Net sales at exit 210 M€

Pyrollsack

Industry:
Paper sacks manufacturing
  • Investment year 1996
  • Exit year 1999
  • Net sales at exit 10 M€

Elcoteq Network

Industry:
Electronics manufacturing services
  • Investment year 1996
  • Exit year 2000
  • Net sales at exit 752 M€

Byggfakta Skandinavia

Industry:
Construction information services
  • Investment year 1996
  • Exit year 1998
  • Net sales at exit 13 M€

Solitra

Industry:
RF filters
  • Investment year 1995
  • Exit year 1998
  • Net sales at exit 17 M€

A-Rakennusmies

Industry:
Rental of construction machinery and equipment
  • Investment year 1995
  • Exit year 1998
  • Net sales at exit 35 M€

A-Rakennusmies Oyj (now Ramirent Oyj) is the leading company in Finland in rentals and sales of construction machinery and equipment. During MB Funds’ ownership the company had a nationwide network of over 70 outlets. The main product groups included small site machinery, scaffolding and protective equipment, shuttering and bracing, site huts and containers and tower cranes and hoists. In the year it listed, A-Rakennusmies had net sales in excess of FIM 210 million (EUR 35.3 million) and employed 322 persons.

The company was owned by Partek Oy Ab, Oy Julius Tallberg Ab and Starckjohann Tekniikka Oy until December 1995, when a management buy-out was arranged through MB Funds. A large number of the company’s key personnel, MB Funds and its investment partner CapMan became shareholders. A further investment was made in November 1997, when Partek and Starckjohann divested their holdings in full.

A-Rakennusmies Oyj listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange on 30 April 1998, following which MB Funds realized its shares.

AJM-Industries

Industry:
Protective housings for electronic and other equipment
  • Investment year 1995
  • Exit year 2000
  • Net sales at exit 5 M€

Fibox

Industry:
Plastics industry
  • Investment year 1991
  • Exit year 1994/2005
  • Net sales at exit 35 M€

Instru Data

Industry:
Wholesale of information technology
  • Investment year 1988
  • Exit year 1998
  • Net sales at exit 92 M€