Vaaka Partners’ successful 10 year journey with Musti Group finalized
Vaaka Partners has sold the remaining shares in Musti Group in an accelerated bookbuild process together with EQT on August 12th 2020. This brought the successful 10 year journey with the company to an end.
Vaaka invested in Musti ja Mirri in 2010, when the industry was still relatively immature compared to other retail branches. However, the underlying market drivers were very attractive – non-cyclical demand and continuous historical growth based on healthy and sustainable drivers of pet population growth and pets becoming family members. Combining that with very dedicated and motivated company staff and the opportunity to apply best practices from other retail sectors, we eagerly began working and created a bold plan for the company, together with a CEO-to-be Mika Sutinen. Our clear target was to become the leading Nordic omnichannel pet retail chain. Mika then lead the company for the next 7 years and executed this plan very successfully.
One noteworthy milestone was the acquisition of Grizzly Zoo in Sweden in 2012 to bring what we felt was the Nordics leading pet retail concept to Sweden with a kick-start. EQT acquired the majority ownership in the company in the beginning of 2015, and Vaaka remained a ~10% shareholder after that transaction. Musti Group continued to expand and established presence in Norway. In February 2020, Musti Group became a publicly listed company in OMXNasdaq.
Since we acquired the company in 2010, the company has grown from €25 million net sales to €270m and is now the undisputed market leader in the Nordics. It has created new jobs with the employee count growing from 140 to 1100 today. Musti Group is effectively competing against foreign online competitors that generally pose a threat to retail companies and retail jobs. The business is healthy and profitable while growing rapidly and subsequently, the value of the company has grown more than 40-fold over this period. While the last 10 years have been very successful, the story is by no means over and we look forward to hearing great news from the company also going forward. Even if we are not part of the story anymore, we feel pride for being part of the team that got all this going a decade ago.