3i and Profita to sell Empower

22 Nov 2007

3i, a leading European private equity and venture capital firm, and Profita Fund II Ky, managed by Profita Management, a Finnish private equity company, have agreed to sell their shareholding in Empower, a leading service provider for the energy and telecommunications sectors in Finland and the Baltic states. Following the transaction, AAC Capital Partners will hold a majority stake in the Espoo-based company, and Empower’s management will continue to have a substantial interest in the business. 

3i and Profita acquired 42% and 33% stakes, respectively, in Empower from Pohjolan Voima and Vattenfall in early 2004. The business, which offers a comprehensive range of services in energy data management, production services, transmission networks and distribution and telecom networks, has significantly grown its market share in the last few years. Revenues have increased from €80 million in 2003 to an expected €155 million in 2007, with EBITDA up from € 4 million to an expected € 12 million in the same time period. The number of employees has also risen from 1,100 to 2,000.

Berndt Schalin, Director at 3i, commented: “During 3i’s investment period, Empower completed a critical stage in its development. It went from a company owned by its clients to a leading independent business operating on market terms. With Empower’s milestones achieved, we felt the time was right for a new partner to accompany it on its next stage of growth.”
 
Eero Piipponen, Investment Director at Profita Management Oy, added: ”Empower’s  financial performance has improved considerably over the past few years, providing a strong foundation for the company’s further expansion plans.”
 
Aappo Kontu, Managing Director of Empower, said: “Working together with our investors and their impressive international network opened the door to a wide range of new business possibilities. Empower has become a leading player in its markets with excellent prospects for further growth, both organically and through acquisitions.”

The transaction is subject to the approval of the anti-trust authorities.

Nordea Corporate Finance acted as financial adviser to the vendors. 

Notes to editors

About Profita Management
Profita Group is a Finnish private equity company, which provides equity financing and ownership solutions in corporate arrangements, MBOs and growth companies. Experience private equity investor since 1987, Profita Group has 200 million euros under management in its funds and is involved in approximately 100 Finnish companies as an owner. These companies represent a turnover of over €900 million and personnel of approximately 6,000. Profita Group has 19 employees. For more information, visitwww.profitagroup.fi.

About Empower
Empower Oy is one of the largest service providers in the energy, telecom and industrial sector in Finland and the Baltic countries. Empower operates across Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, employing around 2,000 staff. For further information, visit www.empower.fi.

About AAC Capital Partners
AAC Capital Partners (formerly ABN AMRO Capital) is one of Europe's leading private equity firms, with a team operating from three countries in Northern Europe (the Netherlands, UK, and Sweden). Total funds under management by AAC Capital Partners (as at 30 September 2007) were € 3.1 billion. AAC Capital Partners’ main focus is to back management buyouts and management buy-ins of profitable, cash-generative Northern European companies, usually with a value between € 50 million – 500 million in the industrial, services and consumer sectors. For more information, visit www.aaccapitalpartners.com.

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Venture Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity, and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

For further information please contact:

Jennifer Letki
email. Jennifer.Letki@3i.com 
tel.  020 7975 3190