CapMan buys Swedestart

The Finnish private equity house has agreed to pay E17m for the Swedish venture capitalist in a bid to bolster its presence in Swedish early stage technology investment.

CapMan Plc, the Finnish buyout and venture investment firm, has agreed to acquire Swedish venture capital manager Swedestart in a E17m transaction.

Ari Tolppanen, CapMan’s chief executive officer, said the purchase was driven by CapMan’s ambition to become a serious player in the Swedish market. “We will immediately start to build the buyout team in Sweden”, Tolpanned said, adding that Swedestart would also give it a strong reach into life science investment.

Talks between the two houses began in Spring 2001. CapMan’s funds will have the opportunity to co-invest in Swedestart’s technology transactions, whilst Swedestart’s technology fund will be invited to participate in relecant CapMan investments.

Under the terms of the deal, CapMan will receive between 4 and 20 per cent of carried interest from Swedestart’s fully invested Fund II, 12 per cent from the new Skr750m (E80m) Swedestart Tech fund and 10 per cent from the Skr460m Swedestart Life Science Fund.

Technology-focused Swedestart, set up 1995, has 12 employees and manages E160m across four funds.It has invested in 24 portfolio companies and completed 11 exits. According to a press release, net annual IRR for the 1995 fund Swedestart I was in excess of 40 per cent as of January 2000.  

Swedestart’s three owners will become senior partners of CapMan and hold 5.9 per cent for the company’s share capital.