Baltic private equity house BaltCap together with management acquires 100% of Sanoma Baltics AS, the operator of Estonian online classified sites auto24 and Kuldne Börs from Sanoma Media Finland OY.
BaltCap Private Equity Fund II and the management team signed an agreement to acquire Sanoma Baltics AS. The company operates the auto24 classified portal in Estonia with a strong position in car, motorbike, boat and heavy equipment advertising. It also operates the Kuldne Börs generalist classifieds site in a variety of categories, such as construction materials, agricultural equipment, pets and household goods to name a few.
“The strong local classified sites auto24 and Kuldne Börs are very well managed and operate in a growing market. The sites provide a very useful service to Estonian consumers and businesses by providing an efficient online marketplace. We are excited to work together with the management team to further improve and grow the business of both auto24 and Kuldne Börs,” said Oliver Kullman, partner at BaltCap.
Margus Tomberg, CEO of Sanoma Baltics added, “The new owner BaltCap opens up solid investment and development opportunities to strengthen our existing business and also to expand beyond classified listings. We are looking forward to developing new and innovative solutions to address customer needs.”
“We wish the team and BaltCap a lot of success with the company. From now on, Sanoma Media Finland will focus on further developing our strong, multi-channel operations in Finland,” commented Pia Kalsta, the CEO of Sanoma Media Finland.
The financing is partly provided by LHV pension funds. The fund manager Andres Viisemann said, “Recent legislative changes make it possible for pension funds to make such local investments. Managing pension savings of €1 bn, we plan to increase investments in Estonia,” adding that local investments provide a higher expected return and also boost the local economy.
The transaction is expected to close in spring 2017, following approval from the Estonian Competition Authority.
About BaltCap Private Equity Fund II
BaltCap Private Equity Fund II (BPEF II) makes equity investments in innovative companies based in the Baltic region focusing on buy-and-build opportunities. BPEF II was established in cooperation with the European Investment Fund (EIF) involved in the project through the Baltic Innovation Fund (BIF). The BIF is an initiative created by cooperation between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and EIF.
Sanoma Baltics AS
Sanoma Baltics AS is the operator of classified portals auto24.ee, veetehnika.ee, rasketehnika.ee, mototehnika.ee and kuldnebors.ee. The company has around 20 employees in Tallinn and Tartu offices, creating a turnover of €4.4 million.
The pension funds managed by LHV have over 170,000 clients. The volumes of the pension funds managed by LHV Varahaldus as at the end of February amounted to €991million.
Contacts for enquiries:
Tel: +372 6650 280
Sanoma Baltics, CEO
Tel: +372 6208 884