BACPE buys Finnish media group

BA Capital Partners Europe, the private equity arm of Bank of America, has acquired a 93.7 per cent stake in Finland’s Janton, a quoted distributor of unaddressed email and publisher of free sheet newspapers.

Janton, the unaddressed email distributor and free sheet newspaper publisher, has been acquired by BA Capital Partners Europe, the private equity arm of Bank of America.

The total consideration for the deal was undisclosed, but BACPE has acquired the shares at E13 per share and will launch a mandatory buyout offer at that price ‘in the early part of 2004’.

Janton distributes mail and newspapers through a network of geographically dispersed distribution companies that aim to maintain comprehensive coverage of Finland’s main population centres. A printing facility, a national radio station, a local TV station and a number of other media-related investments complement the core mail and newspaper business. In 2002, Janton generated turnover of E52.9m and profit before extraordinary items of E12m.

“Since its creation, Janton has opportunistically acquired, developed and leveraged the combination of distribution companies and free sheet publications to establish a strong platform from which there are clear opportunities to grow further,” said Wojciech Goc, BACPE managing director. He said the deal is BACPE’s fourth investment in the Nordic region since 1998.

Intermediate Capital Group is providing mezzanine finance for the transaction, while Sampo Bank is committing senior debt facilities. Other parties in the deal included J-M Capital (financial advice), Hannes Snellman (legal advice and legal due diligence), KPMG Transaction Services (financial due diligence) and Bain & Company (commercial due diligence).

BACPE is part of Bank of America’s Principal Investing Group, which invests directly and indirectly (through more than 200 general partnerships) in the European buyout, US buyout and US venture markets. In has investments in over 250 companies and a global portfolio worth $7.5bn.