Capman, Ahlström in E270m limestone deal

The Finnish-based private equity firm is backing the acquisition of Nordkalk, with plans for a public listing in three to five years.

Capman, the Nordic private equity group, has backed the E270m buyout of Nordkalk, the Finnish limestone-based products producer, from Partek, an engineering company specialising in load handling. The deal is its first investment since the firm restructured its operations in September.

Partek, which is part of global engineering company Kone, decided to sell Nordkalk in an effort to focus on its core business. Orvo Siimestö, senior advisor at Capman, said that the firm first became aware of the deal in 1999, when it became public information that Nordkalk would be separated from Partek.

Capman joined forces with a total of six bidding consortia for the deal. The investor group included Ahlström Capital and institutional investors Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi, Veritas Group, Alandia-Group and Svenska litteratursällskapet I Finland.

Commenting on the firm's plans for the business going forward, Siimestö said: 'Nordkalk is a very stable business serving a number of different industries, so there are certain areas where growth can be further developed, one being in the paper industry. Expansion will mainly be in the form of organic growth, but of course we do not exclude the possibility of acquisitions. We agreed, together with the institutional investors, to exit the firm after three to five years, with the first alternative being a public listing.'

Capman also announced yesterday that it had realised its 26% interest in polymer technology specialist, Teknikum Group.

CapMan is currently in the process of raising its seventh fund. Launched in autumn 2001, the fund held a first close in January at E166m. The firm has not disclosed a final target for the fund.

Ahlström Capital’s investment portfolio is approximately E200m. The company employs six investment professionals with strong experience in different industrial sectors.