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Nordic Private Equity

Latest update: 14 August 2020

The volume of exits by private equity firms across the Nordic countries in Q2 2020 fell to its lowest point in more than a decade, according to Unquote Data.

Nordic private equity exit volume

Unquote recorded just 18 sales of PE-backed companies across the Nordic region in the second quarter, marking a low not seen even during the global financial crisis.

While the number of realisations recorded every second quarter has been on a steady downward trend over the past three years, the sharp drop of 55% in exit volume in Q2 2020 compared with Q2 2019 is unprecedented. Compared with Q1 2020, which recorded an already low 27 exits, the decrease is still more than 33%.

The slowdown in exit activity in the Nordic countries is in line with some other European regions, including southern Europe, where exit volume fell by 65% year-on-year, and France, which recorded a 60% decline.

The subdued activity reflects the reluctance shown by GPs during the peak of the pandemic to initiate sale processes, prioritising the needs of existing companies in their portfolios and fearing a hit on exit multiples, driven by uncertainty over the prospects of portfolio companies and a lack of appetite on the buy-side.

The slowdown in exits arrices parallel with a reduced number of buyouts, with dealflow declining by 65% year-on-year in Q2, according to Unquote Data. Consequently, secondary buyouts were few and far between as an exit type in Q2, going from 25% of all exits in Q2 2019 to 5.5% in Q2 2020. Trade sales, on the other hand, showed resilience, comprising 55% of all exits, versus 44% in Q2 2019.

Notable Q2 2020 exits

CompanyBackersAdvanced sectorExit routeExit dateCountry

BooztVerdane Capital PartnersInternetOtherMay 2020Sweden
Masai Clothing CompanySilverfleet CapitalClothing & accessoriesReceivershipMay 2020Denmark
ScanburErhvervsinvest ManagementMedical equipmentOtherJun 2020Denmark
MapillaryPlayfair Capital, Sequoia Capital, Atomico Ventures, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, BMW i VenturesSoftwareTrade saleJun 2020Sweden
Kaiku HealthDebiopharm, Reaktor Ventures, TesiSoftwareTrade saleMay 2020Finland
Hector RailEQTRailroadsTrade saleJun 2020Sweden
Wexus GruppenNorvestorBuilding materials & fixturesTrade saleJun 2020Norway
ScriveInbox CapitalSoftwareSecondary purchaseJun 2020Sweden
KotikatuVaaka PartnersBusiness support servicesTrade saleJun 2020Finland
NappPromentum Equity PartnersSoftwareTrade saleMay 2020Denmark
CanoramaFolmer ManagementComputer servicesTrade saleJun 2020Finland
EvondosSerendipity PartnersMedical equipmentSecondary buyoutMay 2020Finland
One NordicAltor Equity PartnersBusiness support servicesTrade saleMay 2020Sweden

Source: Unquote Data

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