BaltCap-backed Verkter opened a new warehouse in Kaunas

Verkter, the e-commerce group selling a wide range of professional work tools and accessories in Europe, moved its warehouse to Kaunas. The new 1000+ m2 warehouse also accommodates the company’s HQ and a brand-new showroom. Verkter will keep its current collection point in Vilnius as well.

Located in Kaunas, the new warehouse is next to one of Lithuania’s main traffic arteries and is close to the logistics’ hubs of its key international and regional suppliers. This allows faster delivery to clients throughout Scandinavia and the Baltics.

According to Marius Miskinis from BaltCap, the new warehouse plays an important role in the further growth of the company, as it allows the company to implement novel automation processes and efficiency initiatives, and take even better care of the clients.

“From 2019-2022, Verkter’s sales have grown three-fold. The company’s strategy is built on providing the best client experience – offering a wide assortment of A-brand power tools at competitive prices and with short delivery times. So far, striving for superb client satisfaction has been achieved – the latest customer trust score on TrustPilot was “Excellent”, Miskinis comments.

Tradehouse to acquire Scandinavian Brands, the official importer of Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian quality cosmetics brands

With the transaction, Tradehouse acquires 100% of Scandinavian Brands shares and further extends its leader position in Estonia as a retailer and wholesaler of beauty products and cosmetics and expands its reach in Scandinavia and the Baltics.

Scandinavian Brands, established in 2016 by Kai-Riin Saluste, Karin Kukk and Annelis Rum, is an Estonian capital-based company representing quality brands in the Baltic beauty industry: Löwengrip, Björk & Berries, SG79 STHLM, Atopik Finland, Von Norten, Son Venin, BARR Sweden, and Nakuna Helsinki. The company’s portfolio consists of fast-growing Swedish, Finnish, and Norwegian hair- and skincare brands, including exclusive niche perfumes. Its customer base includes the best beauty retailers and wholesalers in both Estonia and Latvia.

According to Laura Kuldkepp, Chief Executive Officer of Tradehouse, the current transaction was an anticipated step for the company’s further development. Adding new brands to its portfolio will furthermore strengthen Tradehouse’s market-leader position. “The brands represented by Scandinavian Brands incorporate top quality, ethical business standards, and sustainable approach. The company’s portfolio consists of modern, high-quality, and popular hair- and skincare brands, such as, for example, Löwengrip – a highly valued Nordic brand that is recognised by all beauty savvy enthusiasts. Some of the brands were already included in the Tradehouse product range, but now we are pleased to become the official representative of all the listed Scandinavian brands in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania,” said Kuldkepp.

The Board Member of Scandinavian Brands Karin Kukk said the merging offered them a long-awaited opportunity to take the company to the next level and will provide the Scandinavian top brands with the springboard to new heights. “We believe that Tradehouse helps us to increase the outreach of much loved Scandinavian beauty brands locally and provide good growth opportunities in the Baltics,“ concluded Kukk.

BaltCap portfolio company Tradehouse is the largest importer and distributor of professional beauty products in Estonia. The company supplies professional hair care products, cosmetics, accessories and equipment to hair salons and beauty professionals, as well as operates retail stores. Tradehouse’s product range includes more than 700 brands and over 100,000 sales items. Tradehouse’s last year’s turnover exceeded €20 million, and the company employs more than 160 people.

BaltCap sells Vendon to international technology group Azkoyen

BaltCap, the largest private equity and venture capital investor in the Baltics, sells Latvian company Vendon SIA to Azkoyen, Spain’s the most remarkable technology multinational company. Vendon SIA is part of Draugiem Group and is a leading company in connectivity and IoT solutions in digital payment and telemetry in Central Europe.

Vendon provides remote vending management and payment processing services enabled by hardware, firmware, and software. The company, founded in 2011 and headquartered in Riga, with the largest markets in France, Germany, Benelux and the UK, has more than 45,000 connected machines. Vendon is on its journey from a European based company to a global player by having connected machines in more than 82 countries.

BaltCap has helped the company to become a significant player in its field. BaltCap Latvian VC Fund invested in Vendon in several tranches, starting from 2011. During the first five years of the investment, it gradually increased its investment from the initial EUR 0.5 million to EUR 1.46 million.

“BaltCap’s goal has always been to enable growth companies in the Baltic Sea region to fulfil their true potential and help local talent take their businesses to the global stage. Within the Azkoyen Group, the Vendon team will have the opportunity to expand their reach further and develop new cutting-edge technology solutions,” said BaltCap partner Martins Jaunarajs.

The CEO of Vendon, Kristiāns Vēbers says the company has achieved fantastic results growing from a small Latvian IoT company into a global player that is well respected in the market. “It would not have been possible without our brilliant team and partners. I believe that the strategic acquisition by Azkoyen will open new doors to both companies, and Azkoyen is the right partner for Vendon to help push the company to the next level. I am very enthusiastic about what the future holds, and I am looking forward to working as part of the Azkoyen Group,” Vēbers added.

This acquisition strengthens the international growth of Azkoyen Group, which is currently the leader in Southern Europe, while Vendon is the leader in Central Europe. In addition, the acquisition is an excellent boost for the payment systems, platforms and IoT solutions division, which is the most significant contributor to the group’s Ebitda.

The purchase of Vendon also complements and accelerates the performance of Azkoyen Group, thanks to the multiple synergies generated in the business expansion and new technologies and services development.

The advisors of the deal were Porta, Cobalt and Ernst & Young.

BaltCap invests in Nord Security, a global leader in internet privacy and security solutions

BaltCap together with lead investor Novator Ventures, General Catalyst and Burda Principal Investments participated in the $100M financing round to Nord Security, a global leader in internet privacy and security solutions, to expand the company’s product suite and enterprise footprint and accelerate the growth of its consumer cybersecurity segment. Angel investors including Ilkka Paananen (CEO, Supercell), Miki Kuusi (CEO, Wolt) and Matt Mullenweg (CEO, Automattic) also joined the round.

“Nord Security is one of the most impressive growth stories coming from the Baltics, a thriving region that has already created more than ten unicorns. BaltCap Growth Fund is excited to join Nord Security on their journey of building a radically better internet with modern internet privacy and security solutions,” says Kornelijus Celutka, Partner at BaltCap.

Tom Okman, co-CEO and co-founder at Nord Security, said: “Ten years ago, we set out to create security and privacy tools which would help create a safer and more peaceful online future; today, millions of people trust our products every day to protect them. We are profitable and have been bootstrapped until today, but in our investors, we have found partners who believe in our mission as much as we do, which will allow us to grow faster and double down on our aspiration to build a radically better internet. We’re also humbled to play a part in helping Lithuania, a fiercely entrepreneurial country, enter into a new era of technological innovation.”

Nord Security was founded in Lithuania in 2012 by Tom Okman (co-CEO) and Eimantas Sabaliauskas (co-CEO) to create an internet security and privacy tool that was easily accessible for everyone. Today, Nord Security’s suite of products is trusted by millions of consumer users worldwide, as well as by a range of businesses, including the likes of Calendly, Adobe, Shutterstock and Vinted, for advanced threat protection against complex and evolving cyberthreats. Nord Security, which operates in 20 countries globally, is continuing to expand rapidly with over 200 open positions and 50% YoY headcount growth.

BaltCap managed funds increasingly focus on the fast-growing companies of the Nordic region. NordicNinja VC fund, a joint venture by BaltCap and JBIC IG Partners, has invested already in four companies with unicorn status – Bolt, Veriff, Einride, and Voi. Marek Kiisa, Managing Partner at NordicNinja says he is thrilled that BaltCap has invested in the most awesome Lithuanian company. “This gives us an opportunity to use our extensive knowledge and create synergies in BaltCap funds when building deep tech companies that will change the world,” Kiisa added.

BaltCap enters the pet care market to boost Pan-Baltic growth of the sector

BaltCap Growth Fund together with I Asset Management, a Lithuanian private equity firm, entered the veterinary market by investing in Dr. VET, which operates five veterinary clinics in Vilnius. IAM Petcare Growth Fund acquired 65% of shares of Vet Ventures, a holding company of the clinics, BaltCap Growth Fund’s stake is 35%. New owners seek growth through organic expansion opportunities and further acquisition targets in the Baltics and neighbouring countries.

Vet   Ventures   operates   five pet clinics in Vilnius and plans to open and acquire a few more clinics this year. Vet Ventures employs 60 people.

“The number of pet owners is increasing every year but the market of veterinary services in Lithuania and the whole region remains fragmented and lacks high quality services. We are targeting veterinary clinics of various sizes across the region and by investing in clinics, we will seek to act as the majority shareholder,” Ernestas Kazbaras, Head of I Asset Management, explains the further growth plans. An important counterpart paving way to the investment is Liisa Leitzinger, her support and longtime social activity in raising awareness and taking care of homeless animals with her NGO Geri Namai, has been crucial. “Liisa is the godmother of Dr. VET concept and is the first investor to the IAM Petcare Growth Fund,” Kazbaras added.

Kornelijus Čelutka, Partner at BaltCap, says the investment in Vet Ventures together with strong partners serves as a Pan-Baltic platform to facilitate market consolidation and improve access to high quality veterinary care .”We were attracted to invest in Dr. VET because of experienced and well-prepared partners and fast growth in pet care sector. A decade ago, we invested in the healthcare services consolidating Lithuanian market and creating a leading chain. We hope to capitalize on this experience in the vet industry,” Čelutka commented.

Vilius Baskas, General Manager of Dr.VET, encourages the owners of other veterinary clinics to join the chain and develop it together. “The value of chain for clinics comes from more efficient procurement and purchasing, more advanced high-quality equipment single clinics usually cannot afford, and also from centralized administration and general functions, which allows vets to focus entirely on their job and core speciality” says Baskas.

 

Additional information:

Kornelijus Celutka

BaltCap, Partner

Kornelijus.Celutka@baltcap.com

www.baltcap.com

 

BaltCap invests in apparel and footwear retailer Weekend to accelerate its growth in the New Nordics

BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) continues investing in leading specialty retail verticals by providing growth capital to Weekend, a highly successful and fast-growing omnichannel platform for apparel and footwear. The co-founder of the company, Taavi Laeks, continues as majority shareholder and CEO. Weekend marks the 7th investment for BGF.

Founded in 2007 in Estonia by Taavi and Merlin Laeks as a single shop shoe retailer, Weekend has grown into a leading omnichannel footwear and apparel business in the Baltics with an ‘online first’ mindset. It currently operates 13 large-format physical stores in Estonia and Latvia and has a rapidly growing online channel across the Baltics.

Weekend’s strategy is based on its strong omnichannel presence and scalability of the business model. In 2021 the company’s total revenue will reach €26 million with a year-on-year growth rate of over 50%.
“Weekend has witnessed outstanding growth in recent years driven by seamless customer experience in both online and offline, and we continue to see huge market opportunity going forward,” the co-founder Taavi Laeks says. “BaltCap is a perfect partner. In addition to growth capital, BaltCap’s expertise in e-commerce, digitisation and building international businesses, as well as its extensive network of advisors, is crucial for us,” Laeks added.

Sten Sonts, Investment Director at BaltCap, says the Laeks family has built Weekend into an impressive retail business. “Taavi and Merlin have built a winning format in apparel and footwear retail, where an omnichannel approach will continue to result in lower customer acquisition cost and higher brand loyalty. Additionally, by backing Weekend, BGF continues thematic investing in highly successful specialty retail verticals such as Tradehouse, Verkter, and LIVIN,” Sonts comments.

Sten Sonts and Oliver Kullman will be joining Weekend’s board on behalf of BaltCap.

BaltCap’s financial advisor was Opinio Finance and legal advisor COBALT. The transaction value has not been disclosed.

 

For more information please contact: 

Sten Sonts 
Investment Director
Phone +372 55 519 130
sten.sonts@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com 

 

BaltCap backed LIVIN expands and strengthens its sales network

Latvia’s largest and most popular organic eco-store Biotēka is merging and uniting under common brand with the Baltic retail and e-commerce network LIVIN to develop the largest healthy lifestyle retail and e-commerce network in the Baltics.

LIVIN now has e-shops in all Baltic countries, as well as 22 stores in Lithuania and Latvia.

In addition to rebranding, part of the expansion plan foresees investing more than 400,000 euros into upgrading shopping experience in stores and widening the assortment.

LIVIN carries the largest assortment of health products in the Baltic market, offering more than 4,500 new healthy, organic and natural products. Company’s growth strategy includes opening new larger format stores, expanding fresh food and local farmers’ product offer, such as dairy, seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and eggs.

The company is known for its thorough pure-ingredient product selection process and LIVIN brand stands as a guarantee of quality and strong supporter of sustainable lifestyle.

Find the online stores of LIVIN: www.livin.eewww.livin.lvwww.livin.lt

BaltCap sells Kool, Latvian chain of fuel stations and convenience stores to Olerex

BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) sells its shares in Kool SIA, the operator of Latvian fuel stations and convenience stores chain, to Olerex, the leading fuel station network in Estonia. Olerex acquires Kool through Aqua Marina, the holding company of Olerex group in Estonia. Sandis Šteins, CEO and concept author of Kool, will continue to manage the company in Latvia.  

Kool is a network of 10 convenience stores and fuel stations in Latvia, based on module type stations in busy traffic areas. Kool offers competitive fuel price in combination with high quality convenience store and carefully selected, locally sourced meal variety.

“Building Kool and its network of fuel stations and convenience stores has been a challenging 3-year period, we are happy to have been part of the rapid growth journey,” said Mārtiņš Jaunarājs, partner at BaltCap, the biggest shareholder of Kool. “Kool has established its market position and we have accomplished our goal as growth capital provider and strategic partner. We are thankful to the management team and to our fellow investors for their contribution in developing the business. I trust Olerex, the leading player in Estonia, will write the next successful chapter in Kool´s growth story,” Jaunarājs added.

Sandis Šteins, CEO of Kool Latvija and the concept author, will continue managing the company.  “Becoming the Latvian branch of Olerex international retail network opens up many new opportunities for our customers. This will only accelerate our growth,” Steins comments.

After the acquisition of Koo, Olerex becomes the first fuel company of Baltic origin whose stations cover all three Baltic states.

“We have been cooperating with our good neighbours Latvians for many years,” said Antti Moppel, Board Member of Aqua Marina, after signing in Riga. “With our direct entry into Latvian market, we bring in our market power, experience, and innovative mind, which will add value not only to Kool Latvija, but to the whole Latvian petrol industry.”

Walless advised BGF in the transaction, buyer side was advised by Palladium law firm and the transaction was co-financed by SEB. The transaction value and other details have not been disclosed.

 

Additional information:

Martins Jaunarajs
Partner, BaltCap
martins.jaunarajs@baltcap.com 
www.baltcap.com

BaltCap sells Labochema to French laboratory supply distributor Dominique Dutscher

BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund sold its 46% shareholding in Labochema, Lithuanian laboratory supplies trading company, to the French counterparty Dominique Dutscher. Paulius Miežys, the former chairman of the company’s board, and Deivaras Šelmys, CEO of Labochema, who will continue to lead the company, also sold their shareholdings. As a result of the transaction completed today, Dominique Dutscher now controls 100% of Labochema.

Founded in 1997, Labochema is a provider of integrated laboratory solutions with branches in all three Baltic countries. It also controls Gidela, a fast-growing laboratory furniture company. The companies employ more than 50 people. The revenue of Labochema was EUR 12.6 million in 2020.

“Labochema is a well-functioning company based on loyal and highly experienced team of skillful professionals. I am sure Dominique Dutscher’s experience and foothold in European markets will provide Labochema new growth opportunities. BaltCap partnered with Labochema for 10 years, it was a great journey of cooperation and building a successful business,” said Šarūnas Stepukonis, fund partner at BaltCap.

“We are entering a new phase in Labochema’s evolution with a strategic investor who operates across Europe and is one of the largest suppliers of laboratory materials and equipment. Despite the difference in size, Dominique Dutscher’s business philosophy and values are very similar to ours. We are ready and motivated to move together faster and further. I would also like to thank BaltCap’s team for their help and advice – together we have become a mature organization,” said Deivaras Šelmys, the head of Labochema.

This operation will reinforce Dominique Dutscher’s position as the largest independent European distributor of laboratory supplies with ca. EUR 300 million of combined revenue. In keeping with the strategy of the Dutscher group, all group companies will leverage their respective strengths to the benefit of their customers, who will gain access to a larger product portfolio from many of the leading European and Global brands.

Commenting on behalf of Dominique Dutscher, Dominique Wencker, President, said: “Dominique Dutscher has built upon its Life Science expertise to develop a significant share of the laboratory supplies market in France and other European countries. The group is well known for the quality of its service and technical support, the close relationship it maintains with customers and its capability to deliver through an extensive inventory and class-leading logistics capability. Bringing Labochema into the Dutscher family of companies will strengthen the position of the group in Europe and it will allow us to share best practice whilst investing in new opportunities to build on our levels of service and customer satisfaction. We are particularly excited about the extension of our group activities and the geographical reach that this change will bring.”

Dominique Dutscher has been operating since 1982. The group currently has 14 companies located in France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Germany. Labochema will continue to operate by its name after the transaction.

Labochema’s shareholders were advised by financial advisers Oaklins and legal advisers Ellex in concluding the transaction.

BaltCap acquired the shares of Labochema in 2011. This is the 8th company of the BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund portfolio that has been sold. The fund still owns Impuls, one of the largest fitness club chains in the Baltics with 29 gyms in eight cities. BaltCap Growth Fund, a successor growth equity fund, has invested already in 6 companies since 2019. It invests up to €10 million per company, acquiring a majority or significant minority ownership stakes.

About Dominique Dutscher

Dutscher is one of the leading European laboratory supply distributors with annual revenues of €300 million and 700 employees in 9 countries. Since 2020, the company is owned by private equity fund manager LBO France (€6 billion AUM) and management team led by Dominique Wencker. Based in France, Dutscher had strong organic growth complemented by targeted acquisitions in France, Spain, Italy and UK.

For more information:

Šarūnas Stepukonis
sarunas.stepukonis@baltcap.com
Phone: +370 6866 6201

BaltCap sells one of the leading European wooden garden furniture producers EKJU

BaltCap Latvia Venture Capital Fund sells EKJU SIA, one of the leading European wood garden decoration and furniture producers, to AMATA SIA supported by private equity fund Flycap and Signet Bank.  

BaltCap invested in EKJU in 2012. During the holding period EKJU internationalised the business, strongly reinforced the company operations and sustainability approach. EKJU entered French, the UK and German DIY market and launched a successful e-commerce platform being today one of the most advanced suppliers for European e-commerce in the wooden garden furniture sector. The company introduced LEAN and TOC production methods to improve productivity and increased its sales from €5.6 million back in 2012 up to over €13 million in 2020.

Peteris Treimanis, Investment Director at BaltCap says he is proud that along with strong business growth EKJU established itself as a leader in workplace and sustainability issues. “Today EKJU is the most desired employer and one of the leading taxpayers in the region. During BaltCap holding period, EKJU paid more than €7.3 million taxes in total and contributed substantially to the development of the region. BaltCap trusts the long-term view of the new owners to take the business to the next development phase,” Treimanis adds.

Ivars Kassalis, Head of the Financial Intermediaries Department at Altum, the largest investor in both BaltCap Latvia Venture Capital Fund and FlyCap funds, is very pleased that BaltCap’s investment and expertise have helped EKJU to achieve remarkable results. “I trust FlyCap’s latest investment will foster the company’s future growth and back its way towards new goals.

FlyCap Partner Janis Skutelis says wood industry is an attractive investment area, where Latvia has a competitive advantage. “Combined with the environmentally friendly production line and top level company operations EKJU has built over the last decade, we see a great potential to further expand its service and product offering in the European markets,” Skutelis explains their investment rationale.

The CEO of Signet Bank, Roberts Idelsons, comments, “We highly appreciate the professional management team of EKJU and we see great potential for EKJU’s further development. As a local capital bank, we are excited to finance this transaction and help local entrepreneurs with talent and a forward-looking mindset to build the business further and expand its international reach. The principles of sustainable development followed by EKJU are well aligned with the Signet Bank’s sustainability approach,” Idelsons adds.

The CEO of EKJU SIA, Maris Danieks, adds, “During our journey with BaltCap and EKJU founding partners we achieved fast growth and solid financial situation. It was a great pleasure to work with BaltCap´s professional team. We are happy to continue developing the company we built together. We aim for long term success and stability for our employees and customers.”

The leading financial consultant for buyer was Superia Corporate Finance.

About EKJU
EKJU is one of the leading European wood garden decoration and furniture producers, known for its high product and delivery quality. EKJU uses most CO2 and environmentally friendly renewable raw material – wood from Baltic and Nordic sustainably managed forests. The company owns full cycle of order delivery process from creating the design, manufacturing actual products, and doing deliveries up to final customer.

About FlyCap
FlyCap manages an investment fund asset of €35 million and has invested in 26 Latvian companies.

About Signet Bank
The bank was founded in 1992 as Latvijas Biznesa banka. Since 2013, it has focused its strategy on servicing entrepreneurs and their businesses, with an emphasis on high-quality capital maintenance and structured investment projects. Signet Bank’s majority shareholders are a group of Latvian and international investors, which include SIA Hansalink, SIA Fin.lv, and Signet Acquisition III.

Additional information:

Peteris Treimanis
Investment Director
+371 6735 6397
peteris.treimanis@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

BaltCap invests in Tradehouse, a leading omnichannel player in Estonian beauty product sales

BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) invests in Tradehouse, the leading beauty products wholesale and retail company in Estonia to further accelerate its growth. BaltCap acquires majority share, the founders of the company, Avo and Angela Kivimaa, retain a minority share and continue supporting the company as members of the supervisory board.   

Founded in 2002, Tradehouse has evolved into a unique concept of omnichannel beauty product seller operating 5 large-format stores, a highly successful e-commerce platform and a professional training center in EstoniaThe company´s strong track record of growth roots in wide range product offering to professional and retail clients, best-in-class customer service, and fast and reliable delivery. 

As owners and managers of Tradehouse, ouguiding principle has always been to build a business that shapethe futurePartnering with BaltCap will help us to further achieve this goal, says the founder Avo Kivimaa. “I trust that BaltCap´s expertise in e-commerce, its international platform combined with local presence across the New Nordics, as well as its extensive network of advisors will be the key to our future success, Kivimaa added.  

Sten Sonts, Investment Director at BaltCap says the team is excited to further accelerate company’s growth and expresses gratitude to Tradehouse founders for their trust.

Avo and Angela Kivimaa have built a unique and well-established ecosystem in the beauty sector. The business has proven its resilience by withstanding disruption caused by COVID-19 and pursuing robust growth attributable to omnichannel sales,” Sonts commented. “BaltCap looks forward to supporting Tradehouse’s plans to expand its e-commerce segment and explore the opportunity to internationalise its concept,” Sonts confirms.  

The seller’s financial advisor was PwC and legal advisor PwC Legal. The buyer’s financial advisor was Opinio Finance and legal advisor Ellex RaidlaTransaction value has not been disclosed.  

 

For more information please contact: 

Sten Sonts
Investment Director
Phone +372 665 0297
sten.sonts@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

BaltCap invests in Verkter – a fast growing e-commerce group for DIY tools and accessories

BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) invests in Verkter, Lithuanian e-commerce group selling do-it-yourself and gardening tools, accessories, and aftermarket parts, operating in 11 languages. The investment aims to bolster Verkter‘s development and further international expansion from current key markets in the Baltics and Scandinavia. Founder Kęstutis Daukševičius remains the majority shareholder and CEO of the company.

Verkter has been recording fast organic growth in its key markets in the Baltics and Scandinavia since its inception in Lithuania in 2010 (operating under the name irankiai.lt). The company’s business model has benefited from structural retail market shift to online, and it leveraged growing customer need for easy access to wide specialized assortment and great customer service. Now, Verkter aims to accelerate further growth.

„The investment of BaltCap comes at an exciting time for Verkter we are recording our yet biggest growth year in 2020. We are ready to take our business to the next level and welcome BaltCap as a strategic partner and shareholder,” says Kęstutis Daukševičius, founder and CEO of Verkter. „Beyond international expansion, the investment allows us to continue investing in the development of IT and customer support systems to provide seamless customer experience, which Verkter‘s reputation is built on,“ Daukševicius added.

Marius Miškinis, Associate Director at BaltCap Growth Fund, comments: “As a long-term investor, we are determined to support ambitious entrepreneurs and leaders, experts with deep knowledge in their field, on their endeavor to build bigger and increasingly sustainable businesses. Verkter is well positioned in the current market and the team has proven they can scale fast and remain agile. We have strong confidence in the shared vision going forward and we are happy to support the ambition of Verkter with financial resources and strategic advice.“

For more information, please contact:

Marius Miškinis
Associate Director, BaltCap Growth Fund
E-mail: marius.miskinis@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

BaltCap sells Yglė Pastatų Valdymas to Finnish property services provider SOL

BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund sells its 75% stake in property services company Yglė Pastatų Valdymas (YPV) to SOL Baltics. SOL Baltics also acquires the remaining 25% of the company’s shares previously owned by CEO Agne Grendelė and will gain 100% ownership of YPV.

Agnė Grendelė will continue as the CEO of YPV and she will also manage SOL Lithuanian division.

“During the six-year holding period of BaltCap, YPV has grown tremendously as a business and is one of the market leaders today. YPV is one of the most advanced and future-proof companies in the sector, with a professional team and extremely talented CEO that contributed significantly to the success story of YPV,” commented Šarūnas Stepukonis, partner at BaltCap. “It is important for us that the new owners of YPV are strategic investors with a vast experience in the sector, clear vision for development and similar values. We are excited to witness the further growth of YPV,” Stepukonis added.

“We entered Lithuanian market recently and are already convinced that Yglė Pastatų Valdymas is one of the market leaders distinguished by professional approach and vast experience. Joining forces with YPV will create the best customer-centric property management company in Lithuania. SOL Baltics will have full range of cleaning and maintenance services to offer in the country,” Rinel Pius, CEO at SOL Baltic said.

As result of this transaction, SOL Baltics will become the leading provider of cleaning and maintenance services in Lithuania.

BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund acquired Yglė Pastatų Valdymas in 2014. The company is engaged in property services and building engineering systems. YPV is the 7th of nine companies in the investment portfolio of the fund that have been sold to investors already.

SOL Baltics belongs to SOL which is one of the oldest business groups in Finland. SOL derives itself from the dyeing company Lindström Oy, founded in 1848. SOL provides property management, security and staffing services. The group has branches in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Russia and Lithuania.

 

For more information please contact:

Sarunas Stepukonis
Phone +370 6866 6201
sarunas.stepukonis@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

BaltCap invests in Pihlakodu chain

BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) will invest close to 3 million of growth capital in Viru Haigla AS in order to expand the Pihlakodu chain of modern elderly care homes, and increase the number of beds to one thousand over the next four years.

According to BaltCap’s Associate Director Sten Sonts, Estonian social care services for the elderly have not seen much development during the past few decades, whereas general welfare has grown significantly during the same period.

„In less than a year, Pihlakodu has set a new industry standard in elderly care, and given the demographics in Estonia, this is an industry with a clearly growing demand offering an attractive long-term investment opportunity,” explained Sonts.

„As soon as we complete the modern Pihlakodu home in Tabasalu which can accommodate 200 residents, we plan to start building another one in Viimsi,” said Igor Pihela Snr, Chairman of Viru Haigla AS Supervisory Board describing the next steps of the company. „Our objective is to use the investment to reach one thousand nursing home places during the next few years and strengthen our leading position as provider of quality social care services in Estonia,” he noted.

This is the first investment of BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) in Estonia. €3 million will be invested in combination of equity and debt. As a result of the transaction, BaltCap will acquire a minority shareholding in Viru Haigla AS whereas Estonian Medical Group owned by Estonian investors Igor P   ihela Snr, Igor Pihela Jr, Priit Pihela and Ermo Kosk continues as the majority shareholder. The Group is financed by LHV Pank.

Pihlakodu is the leading chain of modern elderly care homes in Estonia, providing social care services in Tapa, Kohtla-Järve and since last year also in an elegant building in the historic Nõmme district of Tallinn. Once the Tabasalu elderly care home is completed in September, the chain can offer almost 500 nursing home places for the elderly.

The investment in Viru Haigla AS is not the first growth capital investment by BaltCap related to the healthcare and healthy living. In 2019, BaltCap Growth Fund invested into Livinn/Biosala, the leading chain of organic products in Lithuania. In 2018, the predecessor growth capital fund by BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund sold InMedica, leading chain of 18 primary care and specialized outpatient clinics in Lithuania to INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund. The same fund still owns the operator of 29 Lemon Gym and Impuls fitness clubs.

BaltCap established BGF in cooperation with the Baltic Innovation Fund (BIF) to invest in rapidly growing sector leaders. BIF is a fund-of-fund created by the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian governments and the European Investment Fund (EIF) to boost equity investments into Baltic companies.


For more information, please contact:

Sten Sonts
Associate Director, BaltCap
E-mail: sten.sonts@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

 

Igor Pihela
 E-mail: igor@viruhaigla.ee
www.pihlakodu.ee

 

BaltCap Growth Fund invests in health shop chains Livinn and Biosala

BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of shares in UAB Sveiki Produktai (Livinn) and UAB Bio Sala (Biosala), two leading retail chains of organic products in Lithuania. The transaction is subject to competition clearance.

Livinn and Biosala are two leading retail chains of organic and healthy food and non-food products in Lithuania. Companies are offering specialized, carefully selected assortment, as well as professional in-store assistance about product specifics, such as nutritional value or allergens. Together, they sell products through 18 retail stores across largest towns and online shops.

“Globally, free-from and organic are some of the fastest growing sectors in food retail. Wellness-worried shoppers are increasingly looking for better availability of organically-sourced products and professional guidance. Founders of Livinn and Biosala developed strong and trusted retail brands. Today, we are proud to support both companies in their journey forward,” says Marius Miskinis, Associate Director of BaltCap Growth Fund.

SPC Legal acted as legal adviser to BaltCap.

”Developing company as a founder requires lots of dedication, creativity and constant enthusiasm, which at some point becomes insufficient to support further growth. New business-oriented owner with financial backing enables growth, while our team’s intrinsic values, such as focus on product purity, quality and environmental friendliness will ensure that clients are happy going forward,” says Guoda Azguridiene, one of the founders of Livinn.

The deal is a second investment by BaltCap Growth Fund. BaltCap Growth Fund was established by BaltCap in cooperation with the European Investment Fund through the Baltic Innovation Fund and with the investments from Baltic pension funds managed by Swedbank and Luminor. BGF is a continuation of growth capital strategy for BaltCap with first growth fund established in 2001.

BGF invests in fast growing and profitable companies, potential sector leaders in the Baltics and beyond. We typically invest in growth of the company by increasing its production capacity, developing a new product range, entering new markets or acquiring a competitor. We can also buy out shareholders looking for a liquidity event or finance management buyouts. BGF aims to invest between €2-4 million of equity per portfolio company acquiring majority or influential minority stake.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Marius Miskinis
Associate Director
BaltCap Growth Fund
Phone: +370 611 55478
E-mail: marius.miskinis@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

 

BaltCap awarded as the Best Russian & Central and Eastern European Private Equity Fund 2018

We are proud to announce that BaltCap gained an honorable recognition by winning the gold award at the 17th edition of the Private Equity Exchange & Awards Ceremony held on November 21st in Paris. We won the Best Eastern European Award.

1,200 participants – Limited Partners, Private Equity Funds and Corporate Executives – gathered for this major Pan-European summit on private equity and restructuring followed by a high-class evening ceremony rewarding the best performers among LBO Funds, Limited Partners and Management Teams.

BaltCap was nominated in the category Best Russian & Central and Eastern European Private Equity Fund. We have been nominated in the same category before but this year we finally managed to outshine the other 7 nominees and bring home the golden prize. The award was received by our Partner Sandijs Abolins-Abols (in the photo).

Acknowledged by the major European Private Equity players, this event highlights top performers of the Private Equity scene.

80 jury members, top Limited Partners and Asset Management professionals, committed themselves to assess the application forms submitted by carefully preselected nominees. Laureates were rewarded on stage in front of 450 private equity players.

 

Additional information:

Peeter Saks
Managing Partner

Phone: +3726650285

peeter saks@baltcap.com

www.baltcap.com

BaltCap Growth Fund invests in KOOL petrol station and convenience store chain in Latvia

BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) has signed the shareholder agreement to become a significant shareholder in KOOL Latvia with an approximate 30% stake. In return, KOOL Latvia, a newly developed local petrol and convenience store chain will obtain higher growth capital, enabling the company to accelerate further expansion.

KOOL is a new innovative brand in the Latvian petroleum retail market with a fresh and contemporary concept. KOOL’s strategy relies heavily on competitive pricing as well as on premium customer experience, by offering carefully selected and locally sourced foods. Since launch, KOOL has attracted over 7.5M€ funding from the various local entrepreneurs as well as private and institutional investors.

“We have been following KOOL’s development closely since its launch and are impressed by the high-performance management team as well as the effectiveness of the concept itself. We believe KOOL has strong grounds to become a significant player in the Latvian petroleum retail market by becoming a credible local alternative to the large foreign players,” says Martins Jaunarajs, Partner of BaltCap Growth Fund.

“We are very pleased that the leading investor in the Baltics has highly evaluated KOOL’s concept and decided to invest in us. The investment will help us further develop the KOOL chain by opening several new petrol stations and convenience stores by the end of 2019. We are convinced that KOOL will be a very competitive player in the market, which has been already proved by existing petrol station performance results and consumer loyalty,” says Sandis Steins, Board Member of KOOL Latvija.

Callidus Capital LLC acted as an exclusive financial advisor, assisting KOOL in all aspects of fundraising since 2016.

About BaltCap Growth Fund
BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) was established by BaltCap in cooperation with the European Investment Fund (EIF) connected to 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. Investors also include Baltic pension funds managed by Swedbank and Luminor. The fund provides growth capital to small and medium-sized enterprises in the Baltic countries. For further information, please visit BaltCap’s website: www.baltcap.com.

About KOOL Latvija
KOOL Latvija LLC was established by private investors and ZGI-3 fund in October 2016 with an idea to create and expand petrol retail chain in Latvia. The first petrol station was opened in September 2017. Currently, KOOL Latvija is operating four petrol stations connected with convenience stores as well as one stand-alone store. An additional KOOL petrol and convenience store will be opened in November 2018 in Riga.


For more information, please contact:

Mārtiņš Jaunarājs
Partner, BaltCap Growth Fund
Phone: +371 673 56398
martins.jaunarajs@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

Sandis Šteins
Board Member, KOOL Latvija
Phone: +371 292 62266
sandis@kool.lv
www.kool.lv

BaltCap agrees to exit InMedica

BaltCap has entered into an agreement to sell its 54% holding in InMedica to BGSF Sanus, a subsidiary of asset management company Invalda INVL. BGSF Sanus will transfer the investment to the INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund when the fund starts its investment activity. InMedica is a leading chain of primary care and specialized outpatient clinics in Lithuania with 18 clinics in seven cities. The transaction is subject to fulfilling closing conditions, including competition clearance.  

BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund acquired the shares of the company in 2012, when it had five clinics.

“Over the last six years, InMedica has actively consolidated the market by acquiring existing clinics, has opened three new facilities and enhanced its service offering. As a result, the company more than quadrupled its revenue. Special credit and big thank you goes to the management team who led this development. We are pleased that the acquirer has recognized InMedica’s strategic position and confident it will take the business to the next level,” said board member of InMedica and Partner of BaltCap Kornelijus Čelutka.

“We rate InMedica as one of the strongest players in Lithuanian healthcare market. We believe that private healthcare sector has high growth potential both in Lithuania and the Baltics, and we will seek to create a leading company in the sector,” said Nerijus Drobavičius, Partner of the INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund and the Director of BSGF Sanus.

InMedica is acquired by BSGF Sanus, a 100% subsidiary of Invalda INVL. Once the INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund begins its investment activity, it is planned that the ownership of BSGF Sanus will be transferred to the fund at acquisition cost. INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund is managed by INVL Asset Management, the company of Invalda INVL group.

“We are grateful for BaltCap’s support. It was a true strategic partnership that created value for both our clients and our shareholders. Today, we look forward to further growing and strengthening the business under the new ownership of experienced financial investor,” said Laura Penikiene, General Manager of InMedica.

Alpha Advisors acted as financial adviser to BaltCap, TGS Baltic as its legal counsel.

The deal would be seventh successful exit by BaltCap this year. For Lithuania SME Fund it would be fifth exit if all deals signed this year are closed. Four more companies are left in the portfolio – Impuls LTU, Labochema, Ygle Pastatu Valdymas and Trafi.

The Lithuania SME Fund is a growth capital fund of BaltCap which started to invest in 2011. The fund’s main investor is the JEREMIE Holding Fund which is managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The fund’s other investors are major Baltic financial institutions, including pension funds operated by subsidiaries of Swedbank, Luminor and LHV.

Also, the sale of InMedica is not the first exit by BaltCap in the healthcare sector. In 2013, the fund manager sold Quattromed, a network of laboratories in Lithuania, Estonia and Finland, to Synlab, one of the biggest European providers of laboratory services. BaltCap still owns Unimed Grupp, the largest dental care provider in Estonia, and Qvalitas, an occupational health care service provider.

For more information contact:

Kornelijus Celutka
Partner, BaltCap
Phone: +370 5254 6713
kornelijus.celutka@baltcap.com
www.baltcap.com

Caffeine is acquired by Norway’s Reitan Convenience

Caffeine is acquired by Norway’s Reitan Convenience

BaltCap and shareholders of UAB Keturi Kambariai have entered into an agreement to sell 100% of the leading Baltic coffee shop chain Caffeine to Reitan Convenience. In the Baltics, Reitan Convenience operates the Narvesen, R-kiosk and Lietuvos Spaudos chains of convenience stores and kiosks. The transaction is expected to close after receiving competition clearance. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Caffeine was established by four Lithuanian entrepreneurs in 2007 – they will continue to manage the company and implement its expansion strategy after transaction.

BaltCap provided growth capital to the company in 2012. The business has grown since to more than 60 shops across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

“Caffeine is an exciting success story of four founders who left corporate jobs to launch the startup. The founders always had very strong ambition to be the clear sector leader in the Baltics and have vigorously executed their strategic plan. We feel privileged having had the opportunity to work with Caffeine’s team and wish the company a success through the next growth cycle ahead,” said Kornelijus Čelutka, Board Member of Caffeine and Partner of BaltCap.

“Over the next five years, we plan to increase the number of Caffeine-brand coffee shops and to expand geographically. We have a lot of ideas for enhancing form and content, we will continue to promote the culture of drinking coffee, and we will implement new roasting and production solutions. Reitan Convenience is focusing on customers, employees, and the development of new and existing stores. They have accumulated a lot of experience in the market and will be extremely important to us as a source of both advice and assistance. BaltCap has been an attentive and confident partner, and we are grateful for the opportunities they have provided,” said Nidas Kiuberis, Head of Coffee and Communications at Caffeine.

“Caffeine Roasters is one of the strongest coffee shop brands in the Baltics and is known for its quality coffee and excellent service. The company’s coffee shops are located at the best locations in the largest cities. We are planning to grow our business in the Baltics, and further, we are looking for opportunities for expansion in other countries with Caffeine Roasters,” says Johannes Sangnes, CEO at Reitan Convenience.

The Reitan Group consists of five independent business units: REMA 1000, Reitan Convenience, the Uno-X Group, Reitan Property and Reitan Capital. In 2017, the Reitan Group had a turnover (including franchise sales) of 89 billion NOK, and employs 37,000 people in Scandinavia and the Baltic region.

Reitan Convenience has 2,250 stores in seven countries, and this includes Narvesen in Norway, Latvia and Lithuania, 7-Eleven in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, Northland in Norway, Pressbyrån in Sweden, R-kioski in Finland, R-kiosk in Estonia, and Lietuvos Spauda in Lithuania.

Porta Finance have acted as a financial adviser to the sellers and Ellex Valiunas provided legal advisory.

This is the fifth exit for BaltCap in 2018. This year, BaltCap has also sold aircraft servicing company Magnetic MRO, business process outsourcing firm Runway BPO, road and infrastructure construction group TREV-2 Grupp, and engineering consultancy Kelprojektas. All companies were acquired by international strategic investors.

For more information contact:

Kornelijus Celutka
Partner, BaltCap
kornelijus.celutka@baltcap.com
Phone: +3705254 6713

BaltCap exits Latvian cosmetics company Stenders SIA

BaltCap, the largest private equity and venture capital investor in the Baltics, exited Latvian bath cosmetics company Stenders SIA. The company was acquired by Chinese institutional investor CICC Ehealthcare Investment Fund.

 

Stenders develops, manufactures and distributes bath cosmetics products. Stenders has its own stores in Latvia and several franchise partners across Europe and in China.

 

BaltCap invested in the company in 2013. During the holding period, Stenders expanded their product line considerably to improve customer loyalty. The company has laid a good foundation for further international expansion of the brand.

 

Contact for enquiries:

Martins Jaunarajs

BaltCap

Tel: +371 2924 3056

martins.jaunarajs@baltcap.com

BaltCap launched a new EUR 50m regional growth fund

The largest Baltic private equity firm BaltCap launched a new regional fund,  BaltCap Growth Fund (BGF) to provide growth capital to small and medium-sized companies in all three Baltic countries.

 

The new BGF with a target size of EUR 50m will provide growth capital to 15-20 companies to create regional market leaders and increase exports, being a brand-new instrument in a market with such an investment focus. BGF held its first close at EUR 40m and it is managed by the experienced pan-Baltic investment team, in which Heidi Kakko and Marek Kiisa are the newest additons to the BaltCap team in Estonia.

 

According to BaltCap’s estimation, the demand for growth capital remains high in the Baltic states while the opportunities for growth are very good in both traditional and new industries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The SMEs of the region are in need of investments to maintain their competitiveness and increase their productivity.

 

BGF Partner and Investment Committee Member Heidi Kakko commented that demand for a new type of fund to enter the market is very high. “Until now, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania  have had scarce opportunities to finance the growth of companies with a turnover of 1-5m EUR per annum. At the same time, there has been a need for capital for further growth for such companies and this is where BGF will fill a significant gap,” she said.

 

Another new Partner of BGF, Marek Kiisa added that the new fund will focus mainly on investments ranging from 0.5 to 3m EUR. “It is also important to mention that finally local pension funds will be able to make direct investments to small and medium-sized enterprises in the Baltics,” Kiisa said.

 

Martin Kõdar, the Managing Partner of BaltCap admitted that one of BaltCap’s biggest strengths is highly professional experienced team. “We are glad to welcome two new investment professionals – Heidi and Marek – to join our team and launch the new fund. Our dedicated growth investment team, led by Kornelijus Celutka in Lithuania and Martins Jaunarajs in Latvia in addition to the new team members in Estonia, is certainly one of the main reasons why pension fund investors have trusted BaltCap to manage this new fund. We are also grateful for EIF’s continued support to BaltCap and BaltCap Growth Fund,” he said.

 

BaltCap Growth Fund is a continuation of growth capital strategy for BaltCap. In 2001, BaltCap established its first growth strategy fund, the Baltic SME Fund, which was followed by two JEREMIE initiative funds in Latvia and Lithuania, established in 2010-2011.

 

BaltCap Growth Fund is the fifth fund introduced to the market by BaltCap with the support of the European Investment Fund within the framework of Baltic Innovation Fund’s initiative, a programme supported by the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania and the EIF, as well as local pension funds.

 

Roger Havenith, Deputy Chief Executive of EIF, stated, “BaltCap’s record and proven capabilities as investors in this region are unmatched and the establishment of the new fund would extend their reach further. This is the 5th commitment issued by EIF under Baltic Innovation Fund initiative and represents a significant milestone in the implementation of this unique pan-Baltic cooperation project. Being both the architect and key investor in the Baltic Innovation Fund alongside our National Promotional Institution partners, EIF is confident in the positive market impact the launch of this fund would have.”

About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

 

About Baltic Innovation Fund

The Baltic Innovation Fund is an innovative investment initiative created by cooperation between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and EIF that is unique in its nature across Europe. The Baltic Innovation Fund will invest EUR 130 million into private equity, mezzanine and venture capital funds focused on the Baltic States during 2013-2017. It is a key initiative with EIF partnering with three important national agencies – Altum (Latvia), KredEx (Estonia) and Invega (Lithuania). This unique trans-national process provides a real opportunity to further develop the Baltic PE & VC market.

 

Additional information:

Heidi Kakko

Partner and Investment Committee Member of BaltCap Growth Fund
Phone: +37256249959

heidi.kakko@baltcap.com

BaltCap in the process of establishing a new growth fund to invest in small and medium enterprises

BaltCap has secured commitments to establish a new regional fund to provide growth capital across the Baltic region for small and medium-sized (SME) companies.

 

The new fund would target both local and pan-Baltic companies who want to create new products and services, accelerate organic growth or acquire businesses with an ambition to grow and become the market leaders.

 

The new regional fund is formed jointly by BaltCap, European Investment Fund (EIF) investing through Baltic Innovation Fund (a Fund-of-Fund initiative between EIF and the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania acting through their respective national agencies KredEx, Altum and Invega) and local pension funds thus enabling latter institutions to invest into Baltic companies to strengthen their equity. The target size of the Fund will be EUR 50m.

 

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are showing strong fundamentals for growth opportunities in both traditional and new industries across all economic sectors.
“SME companies of the region need investments to maintain competitiveness and increase productivity. We see that demand for growth capital remains strong in the Baltics,” said Managing Partner of BaltCap, Martin Kõdar.

“Total private equity investments in the region are 50% of the EU average. The ratio has improved for venture capital investments in recent years, but there is still a shortage of growth capital for SMEs and we want to fill the gap,” added Kõdar about the purpose to raise a new fund.

 

Roger Havenith, Deputy Chief Executive of EIF, stated, “BaltCap’s record and proven capabilities as investors in this region are unmatched and the establishment of the new fund would extend their reach further. This is the 5th commitment issued by EIF under Baltic Innovation Fund initiative and represents a significant milestone in the implementation of this unique pan-Baltic cooperation project. Being both the architect and key investor in the Baltic Innovation Fund alongside our National Promotional Institution partners, EIF is confident in the positive market impact the launch of this fund would have.”

 

BaltCap has already secured commitments from institutional investors of more than €40 million, and has submitted an application to the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority for registration of the management company, which is required for the establishment of the Fund. After obtaining necessary registrations, the Fund can be established, and start its intended investment activities. The investors who have already made their commitments to the Fund include Swedbank pension funds, DNB pension funds as well as EIF investing through Baltic Innovation Fund.

 

Kristjan Tamla, the CEO of Swedbank Investment Funds commented, “The main reason hampering further growth for small Baltic businesses is access to the capital market. Swedbank pension funds will happily make the effort in having the entry barrier removed.  Our co-operation with BaltCap team has been long and effective. We are convinced that BaltCap is able to create our pension fund investors good returns also in the future.”

Upon establishment, this fund would be a continuation of growth capital strategy from BaltCap. In 2001, BaltCap established its first growth strategy fund, the Baltic SME Fund, which was followed by two Jeremie funds in Latvia and Lithuania, established in 2010-2011.

 

 

About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

 

About Baltic Innovation Fund

The Baltic Innovation Fund is an innovative investment initiative created by cooperation between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and EIF that is unique in its nature across Europe. The Baltic Innovation Fund will invest EUR 130 million into private equity, mezzanine and venture capital funds focused on the Baltic States during 2013-2017. It is a key initiative with EIF partnering with three important national agencies – Altum (Latvia), KredEx (Estonia) and Invega (Lithuania). This unique trans-national process provides a real opportunity to further develop the Baltic PE & VC market.

 

Additional information:

Martin Kõdar

BaltCap
Managing Partner

Phone: +3726650280

martin.kodar@baltcap.com

BaltCap exits wind farms in Lithuania and Estonia to Lietuvos energija

BaltCap, the largest private equity and venture capital investor in the Baltics, exited 18MW Tuuleenergia wind farm in Estonia and 24MW Eurakras wind farm in Lithuania. These wind farms were acquired by Lietuvos energija, Lithuanian state-owned energy group.

 

“BaltCap has always believed in the future of green energy and the wind farm investments  matched well our investment criteria,” said Peeter Saks, Managing Partner of BaltCap. “As a private equity investor, our task was to be engaged in these projects during the development phase which was successfully completed in 2015 when both wind farms were commissioned. Lietuvos energija as a strategic investor with a long-term view on energy market was a natural buyer for these assets.”

 

“Mäli and Tamba villages enjoy one of the best wind conditions in Estonia,” said BaltCap’s Investment Director Kristjan Kalda. “Combined with the right choice of techology, the wind farm had the best load factor in Estonia last year.”

 

“This transaction marks the first exit of BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund, part of JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania. Strong and experienced team of co-investors and management played a key role to a successful wind farm development in Jurbarkas. It is within our expectations that the experience gained in this project will translate into new pan-Baltic infrastructure investments,” said Šarūnas Stepukonis, Associate Director at BaltCap.

 

“One of the strategic directions of Lietuvos energija is the development of production and diversification. Naturally, in assessing the current environment and future prospects, we chose wind energy as one of the development directions. Analyzing the market, next to the development projects we have discussed opportunities to acquire already existing wind power parks. We are pleased that after a market survey and identification of opportunities we successfully managed to acquire two wind parks. It is the first wind power capacity of Lietuvos energija and also first investment outside Lithuania – in Estonia,” says Dr. Dalius Misiūnas, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Lietuvos energija.

 

Lithuanian company Eurakras operates 24 MW wind farm in Jurbarkas district. Wind turbines are produced by German company Nordex. Each power plant has 3 MW capacity and tower height of 120 meters. The wind farm is brand new – construction completion certificate and authorization to produce electricity were issued in December 2015. BaltCap was  investor in Eurakras through Lithuania SME Fund.

 

Estonian company Tuuleenergia operates 18 MW wind farm in Mäli and Tamba  in Varbla parish, western Estonia. All six wind turbines are manufactured by German company Enercon. Each power plant has 3MW capacity and tower height of 99 meters. The wind farm was launched in the beginning of 2015. BaltCap was investor in Tuuleenergia through BaltCap Private Equity Fund.

 

Total transaction price for Lietuvos Energija was €28 million for 100% share in Tuuleenergia and 75% share in Eurakras, including buy-out of BaltCap´s co-investors. In Tuuleenergia transaction BaltCap was advised by corporate finance firm Superia and law office RASK.

 

Lithuania SME Fund is a growth capital fund organized by BaltCap in 2010 as part of the JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania. JEREMIE Holding Fund in Lithuania managed by EIF is financed from the EU Structural Funds under 2007-2013 Economic Growth Operational Programme.

 

 

For further information:

Kristjan Kalda                                                 

Investment Director

Tel: +372 665 0280

kristjan.kalda@baltcap.com

Tel: +370 5 278 2042

Mob: +370 611 43 548

ernesta.dapkiene@le.lt

 

Ernesta Dapkienė

Director of the Corporate

Communication Service of Lietuvos energija

 

Sarunas Stepukonis 

Associate Director

Tel: +370 5 254 6713

sarunas.stepukonis@baltcap.com

BaltCap‘s portfolio company Impuls acquires Arctic Sport clubs in Estonia

Impuls LTU, the operator of Lithuania’s biggest fitness chain Impuls, is to acquire Estonia’s Arctic Sport Clubs creating the first pan-Baltic fitness centre operator in this region. The company signed a share purchase agreement with the Estonian chain operator on Wednesday. Sales of Arctic Sport Clubs are expected to reach EUR 2.3 million in 2015.

 

Impuls LTU and Arctic Sport Clubs announced that Impuls LTU will acquire all of the outstanding shares of the company that owns the Arctic Sport Club chain. The acquisition will be financed by Nordea Bank and BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund and is anticipated to be competed by 2015 year end. It is currently pending the approval of the Estonian Competition Authority.

 

“We spent significant time planning and coordinating the acquisition of Arctic Sport Club, one of the leading industry players in Estonia. The Arctic Sport Club chain complements well the Impuls Group’s focus on delivering best experience to clients – the company’s fitness centres offer a complete range of high-quality fitness services, and feature the latest fitness equipment and swimming pools. Arctic Sport Club will remain under the leadership of its current management team. This is because Impuls LTU highly values the achievements of the members of this team and intends to continue the company’s development in Estonia with their help,” said Impuls CEO Vidmantas Šiugždinis.

 

After the opening of Lemon Gym fitness club in Riga in January 2016, Impuls LTU will become the first fitness centre operator present in all three Baltic states. The Group plans to pursue growth in the Baltics through its premium-brand Impuls and low-price Lemon Gym chains.

 

Arctic Sport Club owns two 2,500 sq m fitness centres in Tallinn and Tartu. Both centres offer a variety of fitness services including full-service gyms, fitness classes and personal training, and feature 25m swimming pools. The fitness centres employ a total of 89 staff members. The company has more than 4,000 regular members, rising Impuls Group’s total membership close to 30,000 following the acquisition.

 

“We are glad to have reached the agreement with Impuls LTU, which manages one of the strongest fitness chains in the Baltic states. We believe that a new shareholder will provide us with a new impulse to grow and expand. On our part, we commit to maintaining the highest-quality fitness centres possible,” said Arctic Sport Club shareholder and CEO Rein Reitalu.

After the acquisition, Impuls Group will own five companies across all three Baltic states. Projected sales of Impuls LTU in 2015 are EUR 11 million. The main shareholder of Impuls LTU is BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund.

Lithuania SME Fund is 20 million EUR growth capital fund organized as part of the JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania managed by the EIF and financed from the EU Structural Funds under 2007-2013 Economic Growth Operational Programme.

 

Additional information:

Kornelijus Celutka                                

BaltCap

Tel: +370 5254 6713

kornelijus.celutka@baltcap.com

 

Rein Reitalu

Arctic Sport

Tel: +372 511 8300

rein.reitalu@arcticsport.ee

BaltCap invests in Pure Chocolate

The leading Baltic private equity fund manager BaltCap has signed an investment agreement with one of the most remarkable Latvian chocolate market players Pure Chocolate to finance fast growth of the company.

 

Pure Chocolate is a chocolate truffles and other chocolate products producer with a strong market position in Latvia and sales to 20 export markets globally. The company reached EUR 3.35 million turnover in 2014. The fast growth story of Pure Chocolate has been based on high quality chocolate products, professional team and strong brand.

 

“We are very satisfied with reaching an agreement with BaltCap. Additional investment will help us accelerate our growth, strengthen Pure Chocolate brand in existing markets as well as pursue new export markets,” says Pēteris Žimants, Chairman of the Board of Pure Chocolate.

 

“We are happy to announce that our talks with Pure Chocolate have resulted in a signed cooperation agreement. In our eyes, Pure Chocolate is a very attractive player in food sector with a large growth potential. The company combines several factors crucial for success – experienced entrepreneurs, high quality products, well-established brand and growing industry. We are honored that Pure Chocolate has chosen BaltCap as a partner for further growth and we believe that fueled with BaltCap investment and contact network, Pure Chocolate will continue to grow at a fast pace,” adds Astra Neimane, Investment Director at BaltCap.

 

Pure Chocolate is a comparatively new brand of sweets that has rapidly managed both to win the hearts of Latvian consumers and make convincing steps in other countries. The company is a striking example of how to use state support by means of financial instruments for growth at stable development stage: development loan for expanding production, export loan guarantees for mastering new markets and attracting risk capital to provide pace of growth for a prolonged period,” notes Rolands Paņko, Chairman of the Board of ALTUM.

 

Development Finance Institution ALTUM is the largest investor of the BaltCap Latvia Venture Capital Fund. ALTUM provides state support through a full range of financial instruments: loans, credit guarantees, mezzanine loans and co-invests in risk capital funds. Support for the companies is available during all stages of growth starting from the idea and commencing operation until stable growth.

 

Additional information:

 

Astra Neimane                                 

BaltCap

Investment Director

+37129116680

astra.neimane@baltcap.com

 

Vineta Kalniņa

Pure Chocolate
Marketing Director

+ 371 29137964

vineta@purechocolate.lv

BaltCap’s portfolio company Trafi raises a $6.5m series A funding

TRAFI, public transport journey navigation app, has announced today a $6.5m series A funding round led by Octopus Investments and EBRD. The funding will be used to expand into new high-growth emerging markets.  

TRAFI app (http://www.trafi.com) provides most accurate urban commuting planning tool by using its unique algorithms and crowd-sourced real-time data. Founded by four Lithuanian entrepreneurs in 2013, TRAFI focuses on high-growth emerging markets and currently is available in Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Brazil. TRAFI was listed in Apple’s highly regarded ‘Best apps of 2014’. The newly raised funding will enable TRAFI to launch its product in new emerging markets, scale the team in Vilnius, open London office and further develop the proprietary back-end system.

The round was led by Octopus Investments and EBRD venture capital fund. Octopus Investments is also a lead investor in another BaltCap’s portfolio company YPlan, London-based mobile marketplace for local events. For EBRD Venture Capital Investment Programme it is the first investment in the Baltic tech industry. BaltCap invested in TRAFI in 2014 and participated also in current round as well as the seed investor Practica Capital. In addition, Lithuanian serial entrepreneur Mantas Mikuckas, the co-founder and COO of Vinted is an advisor and angel investor in TRAFI.

Martynas Gudonavicius, the CEO and co-founder of TRAFI said, “To have such a strong backing at this point from illustrious investors makes this a particularly exciting time for us. Existing solutions tend to focus on scaling to multiple cities quickly, without fixing the core problem that publicly available public transportation information is often inaccurate, which in time results in poor user engagement. We see enormous potential in emerging market cities where complex transport networks and the imperfect information available currently makes it difficult for commuters to plan their journeys. In environments like these, TRAFI’s highly accurate platform sets us apart from existing public and private solutions.”

“We are convinced that the TRAFI team has all the requisite ingredients – superior product, international experience and global ambitions, and we are very excited to be working with one of the most talented teams in Lithuanian tech space,” said Kornelijus Celutka, Investment Director at BaltCap.

Lithuania SME Fund is a growth capital fund established by BaltCap as part of the JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania. Total size of the Fund is €20 million; its portfolio involves 8 companies including Impuls, Coffee Inn, Labochema, YPlan and others. JEREMIE Holding Fund managed by the EIF is financed from the EU Structural Funds under 2007-2013 Economic Growth Operational Programme.

Further information:

Kornelijus Celutka
Investment Director
BaltCap
Tel.: +370 5 254 6713
e-mail: kornelijus.celutka@baltcap.com

BaltCap invests in Lithuanian wind farm

BaltCap has signed an agreement to invest €1.5 million in the development of 24MW wind farm near Jurbarkas. The wind farm is expected to be operational in the second half of 2015.  

 

BaltCap Lithuania SME Fund makes its first renewable energy investment in Lithuania by teaming up with Renagro, a strategic investor in renewable energy, agriculture and real estate. BaltCap and Renagro invest over €10 million equity into Eurakras, a wind farm development company. Additional €25 million financing will be provided by a commercial bank.

 

“With the development and construction of 24MW wind farm, we will be able to support Lithuania in meeting its renewable energy targets. This project exemplifies the progress and positive impact that can be achieved when private capital works in partnership with government, entrepreneurs and industry,” said Kornelijus Čelutka, Investment Director at BaltCap. “We are pleased to support strong and experienced entrepreneurs in renewable energy as it perfectly fits our investment strategy.”

 

Gražvydas Zulanas, the CEO of Renagro said, “We have selected to attract private equity investor not only to raise funding but more importantly to add competence and experience in financial engineering that is a vital component in successful infrastructure developments.”

 

Lithuania SME Fund is a growth capital fund established by BaltCap in 2010 as part of the JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania. Total size of the Fund is €20 million and it provides growth equity financing up to €3 million per company for small and medium-sized enterprises.

 

Further information:

Kornelijus Celutka

Investment Director

BaltCap
Tel.: +370 5 254 6713

e-mail: kornelijus.celutka@baltcap.com

BaltCap exits concrete specialist Primekss

BaltCap has sold its 48% shareholding in the Latvian-based innovative concrete floor production company LLC Primekss.

“During BaltCap’s tenure Primekss successfully expanded internationally becoming one of the leading  concrete  contractors  in  Scandinavia  and  the  Baltic  States and  licensing  its  technology  across the  USA, Belgium, South Africa, Belarus, Russia, Israel. Primekss is a success story showing how a Latvian company with an innovative product offering can rapidly expand its business in foreign markets with the help of venture capital. We hope that the example of Primekss will inspire and encourage other entrepreneurs to attract venture capital for business development,” said Investment Director of BaltCap, Peteris Treimanis expressing his satisfaction regarding the exit.

Latvian Guarantee Agency (LGA) is also satisfied with such result. “Management of Primekss has proved that technologies able to conquer global markets can be created here, in Latvia. This is an example of how challenges in the construction sector can be solved by improving quality of finished concrete floors and simultaneously saving both the materials used during construction and the consumed energy. One of the preconditions for the companies to be able to fulfill these innovative and export-oriented ideas is the possibility to attract investments,” said Mr. Ivars  Golsts, Director of LGA.

BaltCap invested 1.4 million euros in Primekss in 2010 obtaining 47.9% of the shares. This was the first investment made from BaltCap Latvia Venture Capital Fund established in the same year within the JEREMIE initiative co-financed by the European Union Structural funds.

About Primekss
Primekss, founded in 1997, is a highly innovative concrete specialist based in Riga, Latvia with offices and licensees across the globe. Through its R&D efforts Primekss constantly continues to improve concrete. The company has twice received the prestigious Most Innovative Product award at World of  Concrete in Las Vegas for its PrimeComposite floors and rafts, and has been a recipient of numerous prizes for innovation, in addition to other accolades across Europe. PrimeComposite enables a reduction in CO2 emissions from concrete production of more than 30 percent.

 

Additional information:

Pēteris Treimanis

BaltCap

Investment Director

Peteris.Treimanis@baltcap.com

Phone: +371 29122716

Stenders attracts EUR 1.5 million investment from BaltCap

The leading Baltic private equity and venture capital investment management company BaltCap has signed an investment agreement of EUR 1.5 million with one of the most successful Latvian cosmetics producers and franchise developers STENDERS.

 

STENDERS is a cosmetics producer with 225 franchise stores in 23 countries worldwide. It is particularly strongly represented in China and Russia, revenues from these markets comprising more than half of the company’s turnover. The success story of the brand has been based on high quality products and special packaging, service culture, design of the stores and the successful franchise concept, which has helped to attract over 60 professional franchise partners over the period of 12 years of operation. The product assortment of STENDERS includes more than 320 bath, body, face and hair care products.

 

“Producing innovative high quality articles, STENDERS has become one of the strongest brand based businesses in Latvia and is now widely represented in the world. We see large potential for fast development in the markets of CIS and Asia by continuing the path that STENDERS has taken. We are honoured to be part of the shareholders and support the management’s ambitious growth plans,” said Astra Neimane, Investment Director of BaltCap.

 

“We have been trying to attract an investor for some time now, in order to allow the company to achieve the ambitious plans of conquering new markets and new product development more successfully and efficiently. But all that requires big investments. This is one of the first steps of attracting investments since STENDERS aims to reach the vision of  becoming a well-known cosmetics brand outside Latvia,” added the CEO and Board Member of STENDERS, Jānis Bērziņš.

 

BaltCap investment fund is co-financed by investments of private investors and European Union structural funds administered by Latvian Guarantee Agency (LGA). Ivars Golsts, Director of LDA said: “We are particularly happy with STENDERS’s development which has now resulted in attracting investments and allows the company to successfully continue its progress. STENDERS and LGA have a long-term co-operation experience, both via credit guarantee and export insurance instruments; therefore, we are glad that STENDERS, being a company with high growth and export potential has managed to attract financing from a local venture capital manager.”

 

Further information:

Astra Neimane                                 

BaltCap

Investment Director

+37129116680

astra.neimane@baltcap.com

 

Baiba Čipa – Ziemele

Stenders

Communication Manager

+ 371 26321221

baiba.cipa.ziemele@stenders.lv

BaltCap invests in PostService Group

BaltCap, the leading private equity and venture capital firm in the Baltics, has signed an 1.5m EUR investment in PostService Group, the leading Latvian private postal operator and developer of automated last mile delivery solutions.

 

PostService Group is the largest privately-owned postal operator in Latvia and the market leader of unaddressed mail. With forty “Mana Pasta Stacija” parcel delivery and shipment terminals in all largest cities, PostService Group is the leading operator of automated parcel delivery and shipment terminals. In addition, the Group develops and exports automated parcel terminals to satisfy the needs of other postal operators and courier companies as well as companies from other industries where parcel deliveries are crucial.

 

“As the amount of online purchases grows rapidly, so does the demand for convenient and effective delivery of goods purchased online. With more than ten years of experience in the postal industry, PostService Group has excellent growth potential – not only in the local postal and parcel delivery market but also in the export markets as a developer of automated last mile delivery solutions. We are excited about being able to support the experienced team of PostService Group on the way to achieving their goals,” said Janis Pranevics, Associate Director at BaltCap.

 

“We have ambitious plans for the Latvian postal and courier market and we also aim to bring our export business to a whole new level,” said Nadezda Razumova, owner and Chairwoman of the Management Board at PostService Group.

“I believe that synergy with BaltCap will yield good results in the near future and together we will create a success story for both companies. Experience from our co-operation, which so far has been relatively short but intense and valuable, confirms that,” she added.

 

BaltCap Latvia Venture Capital Fund’s investment in PostService Group comprises commitments from private investors as well as from the EU-sponsored JEREMIE programme which is administered by the Latvian Guarantee Agency. Klavs Vasks, Chairman of the Board at LGA marked: „Companies with high growth and export potential like PostService Group are one of the priorities for state support.”

 

Further information:

Janis Pranevics    

Associate Director

Baltcap

Phone: + 371 28376034

E-mail: janis.pranevics@baltcap.com

 

Nadezda Razumova

Chairman of the Board

PostService Group

Phone: +371 29222584

E-mail: nadja@postservice.lv