CapMan announces profits fall

A lack of big exit opportunities has resulted in a 90 per cent drop in 2002 first half profits for the Finnish private equity house.

Finnish private equity firm CapMan Plc has reported a sharp fall in profits for the first half of 2002. Profits for the six months to June 30 fell to E2.3m, a 92 per cent drop on the corresponding figures for 2001.

The year-on-year fall in profits is almost entirely attributable to the sale in 2001 of the firm’s interest in Finnish financial group Sampo plc, in which it sold nearly 3 million shares in May 2001 at a profit of E18m. This was in addition to the E6.6m dividend it received on the shares following the merger of Sampo with Storebrand last year.

CapMan completed the E17m acquisition of Swedish venture capital firm Swedestart in May this year. The figures for Swedestart will not be included until the firm’s next set of results.

Funds managed by CapMan made seven new investments and five substantial follow-on investments from January to June, investing a total E46.8m during the period. The most significant of the firm’s five exits was the sale of the funds' shares in the restaurant chain Royal-Rest to MK-Rest, although the return on the firm’s original investment was not disclosed.

CapMan is currently raising its CapMan Equity VII fund which will focus on mid-sized buyouts and technology investments in the Nordic region. Launched last autumn, the fund held a first close in January at E166m. CapMan had planned to hold a final closing in June but firm spokesperson Anne Pirilä, said the fund, which currently stands at E188m, is now scheduled to close by the end of 2002. Pirilä added that the firm had not disclosed a final target for the fund.

Earlier this week the fund announced its largest investment to date in the Nordic region, committing E33.65m in Danish waste management company RGS90.