EQT Private Equity exits Touhula
EQT Private Equity exits Touhula, an early education provider in Finland, to members of its management team and board of directors
Under EQT Private Equity’s ownership period, Touhula has expanded its unit base from 80 to 117 today, made significant investments in digital development and pedagogic content, as well as upgraded the management team and board of directors
EQT announces that the EQT Mid Market fund (“EQT Private Equity”) has exited Touhula (the “Company”), an early education provider in Finland, to members of the Company’s management team and board of directors.
Headquartered in Oulu, Finland, Touhula is one of the largest private early education providers in Finland. The Company has a unique, high-quality education philosophy, with a focus on encouraging children to engage in natural physical activity, adventure, art and culture, and learning new languages. Touhula operates daycare units in over 50 municipalities across Finland and employs over 2,000 people.
EQT Private Equity invested in Touhula in 2016 and during this period, Touhula has expanded its unit base from 80 to 117 today, made significant investments in digital development and pedagogic content as well as upgraded the management team and board of directors.
Touhula’s operating environment has been challenging in recent years due to high sector cost inflation not compensated by municipalities in service voucher pricing and COVID-19, among other reasons. In May 2020, Touhula was forced to file for restructuring which ultimately led to the closure of over 60 loss-making units before the successful affirmation of the restructuring plan in November 2021.
The completion of significant turnaround actions, including the affirmation of the restructuring plan marks a natural moment to change the ownership of Touhula. EQT has supported the Company throughout the turnaround and COVID-19 pandemic and with the exit to the members of its management team and board members, Touhula is well-positioned for the next stage in its development journey.
Vesa Koskinen, Partner within EQT Private Equity’s Advisory Team and Head of EQT Finland, said, “Touhula’s management team and board of directors have played an instrumental role in developing a clear quality leader in the Finnish early education industry over the past years. We believe Touhula is in great hands and has a bright future ahead."
Sari Saari, CEO of Touhula, said, ”We would like to thank EQT for supporting Touhula as a responsible owner during what has been a turbulent time. Today, we are well-equipped to continue on a positive trajectory with our dedicated colleagues and we look forward to the journey as an employee-owned company.”
The closing of the transaction took place on 16 February 2022.
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