EQT Danmark B.V. ("EQT"), the Investment Manager for EQT Danmark, has today, through a newly established holding company, acquired Købmandstandens Oplysningsbureau and Købmandstandens IT-Service (together "Købmandstanden"), one of Danmark's leading credit information companies. The seller is KOB Holding who onwards will focus on, primarily, Købmandstandens Inkasso Service, a debt collection company focusing on the Danish market. KOB Holding will also remain in the new company as a minority shareholder, with a position on the Board of Directors.
Købmandstanden develops and sells products and services within credit and market information. The company has a strong position in the Danish market, serving businesses with credit and market information on other businesses that are acting as existing or prospective customers and suppliers. In addition, the company has export sales and cooperative agreements that extends the business outside the borders of Denmark.
EQT's plan with Købmandstanden is to operate the company together with EQT Danmark's other credit information company under ownership, RKI Kredit Information. The companies will be operated side-by-side under a holding company and focus on further expansion by e.g. jointly developing products to better serve the Danish market. EQT believes that such strenghtened cooperation should form an entity that serves its present and new customers better and that also positions the companies well for geographical expansion outside Denmark.
Mr. Ove Engelbrecht, CEO and majority owner of KOB Holding, comments in relation to the transaction: "The reason for us selling now should be viewed in light of the concentration towards larger entities across geographical borders that is now occuring in Scandinavia and Europe. KOB Holding therefore believes that Købmandstanden should be provided the approriate frame work to develop positively in the new millenium. A sale of Købmandstanden to EQT Danmark means access to neccesary capital but also the opportunity for positioning Købmandstanden with RKI Kredit Information in a structural environment where Købmandstanden can continue its successful development."
Mr. Claes Dahlbäck, Chairman of EQT, adds "Købmandstanden has a strong local position in an industry that is increasingly expanding across borders. By forging the cooperation between Købmandstanden and RKI Kredit Information via an acquisition of Købmandstanden, both companies are strengthened in its home market and together provide a platform for growth outside Denmark, both organically and via selective acquisitions. EQT intends to invest in and develop both companies' in order to fully capture their potential both in and outside Denmark."
It is EQT's intention to form a new holding company where the current Board of Directors of RKI Kredit Information would be retained and supplemented with Mr. Ove Engelbrecht as a Director. Mr. Björn Svedberg (formerly CEO of Ericsson and SE-Banken) will be Chairman of the Board of the new holding company.
EQT is a group of four private equity funds with equity commitments totalling SEK 11 billion. Since its inception in 1994, EQT has successfully concluded investments in 22 companies. EQT Partners, acting as investment advisor to all EQT funds, has offices in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Munich. EQT Danmark realises its business concept by acquiring high quality smaller and medium sized companies in Denmark and in neighbouring markets, including Southern Sweden, and serving as an active owner in close co-operation with the management of the companies it acquires.
In addition to Købmandstanden, EQT Danmark has during 1999 invested in three other companies: Contex (large format scanners, acquired in March 1999), RKI Kredit
Information (acquired in June 1999), and Nederman (supplier of equipment for improvement of the work environment, based in Helsingborg, acquired in December 1999).
For additional information you are welcome to contact:
Claes Dahlbäck, Chairman, EQT Danmark B.V. +31-20-577 66 57
Ove Engelbrecht, CEO, KOB Holding A/S: +45-33-11 12 00
Bjørn Høi Jensen, Partner, EQT Partners A/S, Copenhagen +45-70-27 12 36