Segulah to prepare new fundraising

Swedish mid-market private equity firm Segulah has taken a step closer to its next fundraising after agreeing to acquire Previa, a healthcare provider to businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

Previa, a leading Swedish managed healthcare provider, has been acquired by private equity firm Segulah for an undisclosed sum in a transaction expected to complete by early March.

Gabriel Urwitz, chairman of Segulah, said debt finance providers would be brought into the deal, but no announcement on their identity would be made until towards the end of this week.

Segulah’s investment comes from its €100 million Segulah II fund, which is now between 60 percent and 65 percent invested according to Urwitz. He said the firm would probably commence its next fundraising later this year – though this was “not 100 percent certain” – with an expected target of around €200 million.

Previa has 1,200 employees and operates from 110 business units in 70 Swedish cities and 16 Norwegian cities. It has 12,000 client businesses and 650,000 employees and posted pre-tax earnings of SEK32 million (€3.5 million; $4.6 million) in 2003 on sales of SEK800 million (€87.3 million; $111.3 million).

Although the business operates in the healthcare sector, Urwitz said it is “more like a consultancy”. The business aims to assist the creation of healthy and profitable organisations through the provision of services addressing organisation, leadership, workplace environment, health, lifestyle and rehabilitation.

“Today the management teams of every corporation and organisation are exploring ways to create healthy work environments and come to grips with sick leave and other occupational health issues,” said Urwitz. “Previa has extensive experience, broad expertise and a strong position in this sector.”

He added that Previa provided a “good platform for further growth” both organically and through possible add-on acquisitions. He said the firm’s expansion would take place mainly in Sweden, though it may also add to its Norwegian operations.

The deal sees former Swedish finance minister and current Hjarnfonden chairman Kjell-Olof Feldt join the Previa board, while former Programator and Cap Gemini Nordic CEO Anders Skarin is expected to be named its chairman. Feldt is chairman of Segulah II, while Skarin is an industrial adviser to the fund.

Segulah seeks to own and develop medium-sized companies in the Nordic region through its two existing funds, Segulah I and II. Portfolio companies include CCS (pharmaceutical and personal care), Callenberg (marine engineering) and Norfoods (food ingredients).