First Baltic M&A and Private Equity Awards go to PZU, GrabCAD and Swedbank Investment Management

10.11.2014

The first annual Baltic M&A and Private Equity Awards were presented on 6 November at the Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum organised by law firm SORAINEN together with Äripäev, Dienas Bizness and Verslo Žinios. The PZU acquisition of RSA operations in the Baltics was awarded as the Baltic M&A Deal of the Year and the exit by a co-founder and investors from GrabCAD was announced as the winner of the Baltic Private Equity / Venture Capital Deal of the Year award. The European Investment Fund Annual Achievement Award for the Baltic Private Equity & Venture Capital Industry went to Swedbank Investment Management.

The M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions of the year were selected by a committee consisting of market participants and experts: Margus Uudam, chairman of the board of Estonian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and partner at Ambient Sound Investments, Guntars Krols, board member of the Latvian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and partner at Ernst & Young, Paulius Čiulada, financial markets desk editor at Verslo žinios, and Dariusz Pronczuk, managing partner at Central and Eastern private equity fund Enterprise Investors. The committee selected the winning deals according to such criteria as the value of the deals and their strategic importance to the Baltic region, complexity, innovation, financing structure, and involvement of representatives of the region (managers, consultants, funders, etc).

The first Annual Achievement Award for the Baltic Private Equity & Venture Capital Industry was established by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The nominees for this award were chosen according to the recommendations of three Baltic private equity and venture capital associations and three national financial development institutions: KredEx (Estonia), LGA (Latvia) and INVEGA (Lithuania). EIF aimed to highlight the event, activity or market participant that made the most significant contribution to the development of the Baltic private equity and venture capital industry last year.

According to Graham Cope, Senior Head of Region – Northern Europe & CEE at European Investment Fund, Swedbank Investment Management, the winner in this category, actively contributes to the development of the Baltic private equity and venture capital industry both financially and by initiating active discussions with other local pension funds on investment in Baltic funds, as well as by improving national legislation relevant to this market. The pension funds controlled by Swedbank Investment Management and the Baltic Innovation Fund (controlled by EIF) are currently among the largest investors in Baltic private equity and venture capital funds.

The value of the PZU acquisition of RSA operations in the Baltics – the Baltic M&A Deal of the Year – totals EUR 270 million. This is the largest and most complex acquisition in the region in 2014. According to Ugnius Jankauskas, managing director at Verslo žinios who presented the M&A Deal of the Year award, the committee unanimously agreed on the winner in this category.

With the acquisition of Lietuvos draudimas in Lithuania, Balta in Latvia and Codan Forsikring in Estonia, PZU has strategically strengthened its position in the Baltics. The transaction involved highly complex market concentration authorisation procedures.
Awarded as the Baltic Private Equity / Venture Capital Deal of the Year, the transfer of shares held by a co-founder and investors in open engineering company GrabCAD to international company Stratasys, is also highly important to the region. This is the largest private equity investor exit (sale of shares) transaction in the Baltics this year, with GrabCAD technology potential equated with the success of Skype.

The first Baltic regional awards were established by the European Investment Fund (EIF), Verslo žinios and SORAINEN.

From left to right:
Harijs Švarcs, CEO at Swedbank Investment Management (Latvia), Aurimas Maždžierius, CEO at Swedbank Investment Management (Lithuania), Petteri Karlsson, Head of Sales & Client Development at Swedbank Robur and Graham Cope, Senior Head of Region – Northern Europe & CEE at European Investment Fund.


About The Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum 2014
The leading business publications in the three countries – Verslo Žinios (Lithuania), Dienas Bizness (Latvia) and Äripäev (Estonia) – in cooperation with the law firm SORAINEN organise the annual Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum. The forum gathers annually more than 200 leading representatives of private equity and venture capital funds and investment banking, consultants, lawyers, and business executives and owners from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The forum was held 6-7 November in Vilnius this year.

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