Double first for ABN in Finland, Spain

ABN AMRO Capital, the European mid-market buyout arm of ABN AMRO, has completed a debut investment in Finland and its first exit in Spain.

ABN AMRO Capital has completed its first Finnish investment via the management buyout of homeware design company Iittala from ALI Group for an undisclosed sum. The business posted turnover of €162 million last year and has 1,385 employees. Sampo Bank provided acquisition finance for the buyout.   

A specialist in modern Scandinavian design, Iittala has strong market positions in Finland, Sweden and Norway. ABN AMRO Capital (ABNAC) executive director Johan Bjurstrom said the strategy would be to expand the business in international markets faster than to date.

In Spain, ABNAC has sold its stake in UNICA, the cleaning and general services company, in what is its first exit in the country. UNICA has been acquired by ISS Espana, the Spanish arm of Danish cleaning group ISS. ISS moved into Spain in 1999 with an acquisition strategy that has seen it acquire 18 businesses in the Spanish market so far.

ABNAC acquired UNICA along with Spanish investors Corpfin Capital and Dinamia in 2001. Having set out to build a market leading cleaning services group, the investment consortia financed four acquisitions during the period of their ownership. In a statement ABNAC said the investors had achieved 'a yield of more than 20% on their investment'.          

ABNAC’s remaining Spanish portfolio includes Silita, a plastic container manufacturer it acquired through a €25 million management buyout in March 2003, and Labiana, a contract services company for the pharmaceutical and animal health industries that it bought for €30 million in Spain’s first secondary management buyout in December 2003.

ABNAC has investment teams in 12 countries around the world, specialising in mid-market buyouts, expansion capital and public-to-privates. It has €2.1 billion under management, €1.9 billion of which is provided by ABN AMRO and €200 million by investors in ABNAC managed funds.

Earlier in the month the firm sold its entire German investment portfolio to three members of its management team for an undisclosed sum. The team have launched independent newco DDN Capital Partners.