Nordic appoints ex-Sandvik CEO as operating partner

The Swedish buyout firm has grown its operations team from one partner to five members as it continues to invest its €3.5bn Fund VIII.

Nordic Capital has significantly boosted its operating capabilities through the hire of former Sandvik CEO Olaf Faxander as an operating partner and the appointment of three operations directors, according to a statement from the firm.

Prior to the appointments, partner Lars Terney was the only member of a nascent operations team at NC Advisory, the advisor to the Nordic Capital funds.

Faxander will work alongside Terney and play a key role in supporting “accelerated value creation” in existing portfolio companies, assisting in the evaluation of new investment opportunities, and supporting “the on-boarding of new portfolio companies that typically enter an intensive development phase”, the firm said.

“We are delighted to have him as part of our team to strengthen the focus on operational excellence,” NC Advisory managing partner Joakim Karlsson said in the statement.

Faxander was CEO of mining equipment producer Sandvik until August 2015. Swedish media reports have linked Faxander to a long-running scandal relating to the alleged misuse of corporate jets at Industrivärden, Sandvik’s largest owner. He was replaced in November by Bjorn Rosengren, who was formerly the CEO of Finnish ship-engine builder Wartsila Oyj.

Prior to his role at Sandvik, Faxander was CEO at Swedish steel company SSAB.

The three new operations directors are Henrik Sandreus, Martin Ekström and Henrik Engsner. Sandreus and Ekström join Nordic from two of the firm’s portfolio companies, air treatment solutions company Munters and metal solutions manufacturing and heat transfer business Luvata respectively. Engsner will take responsibility for strategic human resources and talent development in the firm’s portfolio companies.

The rapid expansion of the operations team comes as the firm continues to deploy its eighth buyout fund, a 2012-vintage vehicle which closed on its €3.5 billion hard-cap in December 2013.

This week Nordic acquired research technology provider Cint from a shareholder group including Prime Ventures, Creandum, Cipio Partners, the company’s founder, and a group of individual investors and employees.

Other investments in the vehicle include Oslo-based debt collecting company Lindorff, which it acquired from fellow Swedish investor Altor Equity Partners for €2.3 billion in 2014; veterinary clinic operator AniCura; clothing business Gina Tricot; well service technology business Resman; and Danish logistics company Unifeeder, which it acquired from London-headquartered Montagu Private Equity for around €400 million.