E166m in latest CapMan fund

The Finnish private equity firm expects several additional commitments to follow shortly before closing CapMan VII in June.

Private equity firm CapMan has secured E166m for the first closing of its seventh fund CapMan Equity VII.

CapMan expects to close the fund by the end of June and is expecting significant commitments from new investors. So far the fund has 13 investors including the Swedish public pension fund Sjätte AP-fonden and the European Investment Fund.

The fund also comprises three limited partnerships formed in Guernsey and Sweden, where CapMan has opened new offices. It has also committed E15m to the fund.

Around two thirds of the fund will be invested in medium-sized buyouts and approximately one third in telecoms and IT companies. All deals will be in the Nordic region.

According to Ari Tolppanen, CEO of CapMan, the present market situation in the Nordic area offers excellent opportunities for private equity investors to make new investments. “Traditional industries will continue to consolidate and companies will divest their non-core assets. In addition, valuations have come down and this in turn accelerates investments in technology companies,” he said.

The new fund takes total assets CapMan has under management to E1.3bn, of which E465m will be managed through Access Capital Partners, the Paris-based fund of funds that CapMan is affiliated with.

Its latest investments include Extra Group, a recruitment firm in Finland, Kultajousi Oy, a retail jewellery chain and most recently Savcor, an electrochemical company. CapMan invested E15m into the Finnish group Savcor, which is owned by the Savislo family. The financing is a mezzanine loan, which enables Savcor to continue as an independent family-owned business, said Tuomas Lang, a partner at CapMan. “Mezzanine offers the opportunity to continue operations on the family’s own terms. There is no aim for a future stock market listing,” he said.

Savcor manufactures electrochemical corrosion prevention systems, process and quality control systems and data acquisition systems. The money raised will be used to expand the operation further. Savcor was founded in 1981 and employs around 800 people worldwide. The company’s head office is located in Mikkeli, Finland and runs production lines in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and China. The group’s turnover for the financial year ending 31 January 2002 was E50m.

CapMan focuses on the mid-sized buyout market, but also invests in technology, telecommunications and media. The firm today manages more than E1168m in 12 funds. To date the company has invested in around 80 companies across Europe. It also has investments in 21 European funds through its affiliate company Access Capital Partners.