Norway’s Ferd completes first deal

Ferd Equity Partners, the Norwegian private equity firm, has completed its first deal since closing its debut fund in December 2004 on €242m.

Ferd Private Equity Fund, the Oslo-based buyout fund which closed on NOK2 billion (€242 million; $320 million) last month, has completed its first deal with the acquisition of an 85 percent stake in Noratel. The remaining 15 percent will be held by existing shareholders Age Andersen and Noratel’s managing director Asle Braathen Tandberg

Noratel, based in Hokksund, Norway, is a supplier of transformers to manufacturers of machines and electrical products. In a statement, Ferd said Noratel is the largest company in its sector in Scandinavia and has also established a “strong position” in Northern Europe.

Established in 1925 as a local manufacturer of radios and loudspeakers, Noratel has developed into an international group of 11 companies in seven European countries with more than 400 employees. It has manufacturing, sales and marketing operations in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Poland, and sales and marketing activities in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

The consideration for the deal was undisclosed. Noratel delivered approximately NOK300 million of revenues in 2004 on an operating profit of about NOK25 million. Noratel said that under its new ownership it would assess potential opportunities for further consolidation in a “strongly fragmented industry”.

Ferd Equity Partners, which is the exclusive investment adviser to the Ferd Private Equity Fund, is headed by Gert Munthe, Morten Blix and Tore-Rynning Nielsen. The firm attracted 25 investors to its fund including parent company Ferd AS, Orkla, Storebrand Livforsikring and the Third Swedish National Pension Fund.