Management buyout of Pohjola Capital Partners Ltd

Management buyout of Pohjola Capital Partners Ltd

Press release, 27 September 2010 at 2.00 pm

Pohjola Capital Partners Ltd to Become Vaaka Partners
– Investment Operations Unchanged

The existing management of Pohjola Capital Partners Ltd and its present majority shareholder, Pohjola Bank plc, have agreed on a management buyout whereby Pohjola Capital Partners Ltd’s management acquires all of the company’s shares. Pohjola Capital Partners Ltd will be renamed Vaaka Partners after the transaction which should be finalised in December 2010.

After the management buyout, the company’s investment operations and the management of its existing private equity funds will remain unchanged. In addition to partners, the company’s Board of Directors will comprise Veli Sundbäck as Chairman and Tuomo Lähdesmäki and Martti Timgren as members.

Pohjola and Vaaka Partners will continue their cooperation and Pohjola will also remain an investor in Vaaka Partner’s next buyout fund in 2012.

– Pohjola has specified its policy in such a way that direct equity investments in unlisted Finnish companies are not part of its core business. In recent years, Pohjola Capital Partners Ltd has grown into a major Finnish private equity firm. As a result of this growth, however, aligning direct equity investment business with Pohjola’s core business has become increasingly challenging. Furthermore, current market practices support partner ownership of private equity firms, explains Mikko Koskimies, Managing Director of Pohjola Asset Management Ltd.

– Pohjola has supported well our growth as a private equity firm. However, this is only a natural step for us to start operating as an independent firm like the majority of other private equity firms. We are very satisfied with this transaction that will provide us with a solid foundation for continuing our investment operations, says Juha Peltola, Managing Director of Vaaka Partners.

Institutional investors favour partner ownership of private equity firms with a view to ensuring long-term engagement of key employees and shared interests with investors.

– We are pleased to support Vaaka Partners becoming an independent company. In our view, the buyout will boost good investment operations, says Esko Torsti, Deputy of CIO, Ilmarinen.

This management buyout will have no major effect on Pohjola Bank plc’s financial results.

For more information, please contact:
Mikko Koskimies, Managing Director,
Pohjola Asset Management Ltd, tel. +358 (0)10 252 2295
Juha Peltola, Managing Director,
Vaaka Partners, tel. +358 (0)50 5148401, www.vaakapartners.fi

Pohjola Asset Management Ltd is part of Pohjola Group and responsible for asset management services for OP-Pohjola Group’s major institutional and private clients. Its 170 asset management experts manage assets worth almost EUR 35 billion. The company aims to be the leading asset manager for Finnish private and institutional investors.

Operating since 1989, Vaaka Partners is a Finnish private equity firm which invests in small and mid-size Finnish companies through its buyout and mezzanine funds. The current investee companies of the funds managed by Vaaka Partners include Reima Group, a manufacturer of children’s clothes, Renewa, supplier of power plants using biofuels, and Musti ja Mirri, a pet shop chain.