Saltex and Unisport to form a Nordic market leader in sports facilities services

Investments in companies - 4.12.2015

Saltex Oy, a specialist in artificial turf surfaces, and Unisport Scandinavia AB, service provider for sports facilities are joining forces. They will form a new company becoming a Nordic leader in developing sports and exercise facilities. The founders, management and current owners of Saltex and Unisport will continue as minority shareholders alongside the majority shareholder, Finnish private equity firm Vaaka Partners, which is the initiator of the arrangement, and Finnish Industry Investment.

The new company will be a Nordic market leader, which aims to grow first in the Nordics with further opportunities in other markets. The company will offer increasingly versatile services in developing sports and exercise facilities. As a market leader, it is able to address customer needs in an improved capacity.

The company strives for growth, first in all Nordic countries.

- The arrangement provides both of the acquired companies with the possibility to continue to grow and expand their services. Saltex strengthens the Nordic sale of artificial turf fields manufactured in Finland, while Unisport will gain its own solid production to support its service expertise, says Mikko Kilpeläinen, CEO of the new company.

Kilpeläinen, former CEO at Karelia-Upofloor Oy and Honkarakenne Oyj, will become shareholder in the new company. Customers are served by local management and sales organizations in the Nordic countries. Customers will be offered expertise in local conditions and increasingly strong product development expertise.

The company will be offering increasingly diverse turn-key deliveries, improved maintenance services for previously delivered artificial turf fields and indoor sports facilities.

- The investment to Unisport-Saltex creates the framework for international growth by developing the company’s service concepts. This aligns very well with the objectives of our Industrial Renewal investment programme, explains Finnish Industry Investment’s Investment Manager Miikka Salminen.

A stronger market position facilitates the most solid services on the market, potential to develop new concepts and an extensive product selection for customers.

- We are excited with the new opportunities. As market leader we are able to address customer needs in an improved capacity and continue our R&D investments in Alajärvi, says Timo Salmenautio, Saltex Oy.

- The arrangement offers a solid ground to develop our services and meet customer needs throughout Nordic. Our customers are served by local sales organizations in the Nordic countries. Customers are offered even better expertise in local conditions and increasingly strong product development capabilities, comments Joachim Gabrielsson, Unisport Scandinavia AB.

The arrangement was launched at the initiative of Vaaka Partners. Vaaka Partners is a Finnish private equity firm that invests in building growth in mid-sized companies. The investors in Vaaka Partners’ funds are European institutional investors. Vaaka Partners has a solid track record in creating growth in its portfolio companies. For example the pet specialty retailer Musti & Mirri and building automation measurement technology company Produal successfully grew internationally to become Nordic market leaders together with Vaaka Partners. Experts at Vaaka Partners will also engage in developing the acquired companies.

For more information please contact:

Mikko Kilpeläinen
Managing Director
Unisport-Saltex Group
+358 50 542 5884, mikko.m.kilpelainen@gmail.com

Juha Peltola
Managing Director
Vaaka Partners
+358 50 514 8401,  juha.peltola@vaakapartners.fi

Timo Salmenautio
Managing Director
Saltex Oy
+358 500 669 769, timo.salmenautio@saltex.fi        

Joachim Gabrielsson
CEO
Unisport Scandinavia AB
+46 70 566 58 20,  joachim.gabrielsson@unisport.com

 

 

Saltex Oy has been developed as family business since 1991. The company was founded by the Salmenautio family, and its main product range includes artificial grass for sports and landscaping purposes, athletic track surfaces, playground safety surfaces and interior carpets. More information at www.saltex.fi

Unisport Scandinavia AB specializes in the instalment of diverse surfaces and equipment for sports and exercise facilities since 1993. Marked by strong growth, the company employs a staff of 70. Private equity firm Priveq Investment has been the majority shareholder of Unisport since 2008 and is now selling its shareholding. More information at www.unisport.com

Vaaka Partners Ltd is a Finnish private equity firm focusing on growth-strategy investments in mid-sized companies. It manages EUR 250 million in private equity funds from European institutional investors. Its current investments include Enegia, the leading energy management services group; Solita, a forerunner in digital business solutions and services; and Sataservice, a leading full-service maintenance provider for demanding industrial environments. More information can be found at www.vaakapartners.fi