The Baltic M&A and Private Equity Awards is a part of the Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum. This year the winners will be announced during an online awards event on 26 May, at 17:15 – right after the forum’s program.
This celebration of the achievements of the Baltic M&A industry is a tradition that has been going for six years now. The M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions of the year are selected by a committee consisting of market professionals and experts. The committee selects the winning deals according to criteria such as the value of the deals and their strategic importance to the Baltic region; their level of complexity and innovation; their financing structure; and the involvement of professionals of the region.
The awards cover the period from 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2020. All deals must have been closed in this period.
Jūratė Aželionytė, European Investment Fund
Jūratė Majauskienė, Association of Financial Analysts (Lithuania), Summa Advisers
Kadri Lindpere, Managing Director at the Estonian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
Prof. Enn Listra, TalTech School of Business and Governance
Mārtiņš Bičevskis, Board Member at the Latvian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
Lauris Balga, Superia Corporate Finance
Nominees for the Baltic M&A Deal of the Year
1. Boku, Inc acquisition of Fortumo OÜ from its founders and investors
Description: Intel Capital and Greycroft Partners LLC have agreed to sell their stake in Fortumo OU to Boku, Inc. Boku, Inc. will pay a maximum consideration of USD 41m. Of the total, USD 37.6m is payable in cash while approximately USD 2m in Restricted Stock Units shall be paid to company vendors. An additional consideration of approximately USD 5.4m, subject to certain EBITDA earn-out, working capital, and indemnity conditions being satisfied, shall also be paid by Boku.
The acquisition will be funded by an unconditional placing to raise gross proceeds of up to approximately USD 25m and new bank facilities of approximately USD 20m.
The transaction is in line with Boku's global DCB growth strategy. It will create operational efficiencies for Boku through access to Fortumo's lower operational cost base in Estonia and use of Fortumo's direct connections in many Asian markets to complement the existing Boku network. It will also allow Fortumo to better help merchants grow their presence globally.
Deal value (mEUR): 35,269
2. Kahoot! AS acquisition of Drops
Description: Kahoot! AS (Kahoot) has agreed to acquire Drops, an Estonia-based company engaged in developing a language learning mobile app using a game-based approach, from PlanB Labs OU.
The consideration reflecting an enterprise valued at USD 31m on debt-free and cash-free basis. The consideration will be payable in a combination of cash and Kahoot! shares. Additionally, Kahoot will pay earn-outs of up to USD 19m, which is contingent upon Drops achieving certain performance targets in 2020-2022.
The acquisition is in line with Kahoot’s vision of becoming the leading learning platform in the world and is a part of Kahoot’s strategy to expand into new areas of learning and make Kahoot! a trusted destination for all learners, whether at school, work or home.
Deal value (mEUR): 42,1336
3. Augstsprieguma Tikls AS acquisition of 34.10% stake in Conexus Baltic Grid AS from Gazprom PJSC
Description: Augstsprieguma Tikls AS has acquired a 34.10% stake in Conexus Baltic Grid AS, a Latvia-based provider of natural gas transmission and storage system from Gazprom PJSC, for a consideration of EUR 77m.
This transaction will make the state the full controller over the gas transmission system and will lead to establishment of the state energy safety and encouraging the further growth and expansion of the gas system as per the prescribed energy policy purposes. Post-acquisition Augstsprieguma Tikls will hold 68.46% in Conexus Baltic.
The future management of Conexus Baltic Grid will be done by JSC Augstsprieguma Tikls and MM Infrastructure Investments Europe Limited, which holds 29.06% and the other shareholders, which collectively holds 2.48%.
Deal value (mEUR): 77
Nominees for the Baltic Private Equity/Venture Capital Deal of the Year
1. D1 Capital Partners has led a EUR 150m founding round in Bolt
Description: D1 Capital Partners has led a EUR 150m founding round in Bolt, an Estonian taxi-hailing service. Darsana Capital Partners also participated in the round. Bolt will deploy the capital to further build on safety features as it looks to expand its footprint in Europe along with Africa. Founded in 2013 and based in Tallinn, Bolt is a ride-hailing platform. The company is present in 200 cities around the globe.
Deal value (mEUR): 150
2. Lightspeed Venture Partners has led a EUR 128m in a Series E funding round for Vinted
Description: Lightspeed Venture Partners has led a EUR 128m in a Series E funding round for Lithuania-based online marketplace for secondhand fashion Vinted. The funding round values Vinted at EUR 1bn.
The round was led by new investor Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing backers including Sprints Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Accel and Burda Principal Investments.
The company plans to use the fresh capital to further expand across Europe, scale up its team and finance additional acquisitions with the aim of pursuing an aggregation strategy in the region.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Vilnius, Vinted is an online marketplace for secondhand clothes and accessories. The company operates in 11 markets and has a particularly strong presence in France, with a claimed market share of 80% in adult and children's fashion resale in the country. Vinted has offices in Berlin, Warsaw and Prague, and employs 300 staff.
Deal value (mEUR): 128
3. Skeleton Technologies has completed a EUR 41.3m Series D financing round from new and existing investors
Description: Skeleton Technologies, an Estonia-based manufacturer of ultracapacitor-based energy storage, has completed a EUR 41.3m Series D financing round from new and existing investors.
All existing investors EIT InnoEnergy, FirstFloor Capital, MM Grupp and Harju Elekter participated in the round. This round brings Skeleton’s total funding to over EUR 93m since its inception in 2009. The proceeds will be used to further accelerate Skeleton's growth.
Founded in 2009, Skeleton is a manufacturer of ultracapacitor-based energy storage. Based in Tallinn, the company currently employs 100 people.
Deal value (mEUR): 41,3
Nominees for the Outbound Deal from the Baltics
1. Vinted acquisition of United Wardrobe B.V in the Netherlands
Description: Vinted, from Lithuania, has acquired United Wardrobe B.V., the Netherlands-based operator of a second-hand clothing marketplace, for an undisclosed consideration.
The transaction will enable Vinted to expand its market presence. Pursuant to the transaction, both platforms will be gradually integrated. All the customers of United Wardrobe will become the customers of Vinted.
Deal value: N/A
2. Nortal AS acquisition of Schutze AG in Germany
Description: Nortal AS, from Estonia, has agreed to acquire Schutze AG, a Germany-based company providing strategic consulting and software development solutions in the areas of administration, associations, medium-sized companies, and health, for an undisclosed consideration.
The transaction will help Nortal to strengthen its expansion strategy in Europe. As a result of this acquisition, Nortal will be able to expand its presence in Germany. Post-acquisition, Nortal and Schutze will merge their teams in Germany. Mr. Ole Behrens-Carlsson, CEO of Schutze will continue to hold his position and lead Nortal Brand in Germany.
Deal value: N/A
3. UAB Ignitis grupe acquisition of 170 MW solar parks portfolio of Sun Investment Group in Poland
Description: UAB Ignitis grupe has agreed to acquire 170 MW solar parks portfolio in Poland of Sun Investment Group (SIG), for an undisclosed consideration.
As per the agreement, revenues from these projects will be secured by 15-year contracts for difference under the Polish auction mechanism ensuring electricity price stability for projects. SIG will develop and prepare for these solar parks in 2021-2023. The transaction is in line with the growth strategy of Ignitis enabling increase in the portfolio of projects of green generation.
Deal value: N/A
Special Award: Baltic Public Offering of the Year
Ignitis Group IPO
Description: State-owned energy company Ignitis Group was listed on Nasdaq Vilnius and London Stock (LSE) exchanges on 7 October 2020, after implementing the largest ever IPO in the Baltic States.
Following a regional retail investor subscription period and an international institutional book-building process, the company’s 20,000,000 shares will trade on the Main Trading List of Nasdaq Vilnius under the symbol “IGN1L”, and the global depositary receipts (GDR) will trade on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange plc under the symbol “IGN”. The offer price was set at EUR 22.5 per share.
The process raised EUR 450m, making it the largest IPO in the Baltic countries, with strong and well-diversified global demand from the institutional tranche, from both international and local asset managers, including Nordic, Continental European and other global institutional and retail investors.