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GMT portfolio company Karnov Group secures DKK510m refinancing

Karnov Group, the Scandinavian information and business intelligence provider backed by GMT Communication Partners, has secured a DKK510m refinancing.

Karnov provides legal, tax and accounting information to businesses in Demark and Sweden and was acquired by GMT, the European TMT-focused private equity group, in 2011 from Thomson Reuters.
Since the acquisition, Karnov has pursued an ambitious strategy that has transformed the business from a 20th century publisher into a modern information technology company. In addition to bringing in a new chairman, CEO and management team, the company has pursued a customer-centric approach, focusing on the integration of premium information with advanced cloud-based technologies to help customers within the legal, tax and accounting professions to reach better decisions faster, thereby improving productivity and increasing profitability.
At the same time it has developed its content to ensure customers are able to access more information in an intelligent and focused way, as well as completely reengineering its back office systems to ensure they are able to support a modern, fast-moving technology business.
The company, which employs around 160 people across offices in Copenhagen and Stockholm, is projected to report revenues in excess of DKK300m for 2014, mainly generated by its online platform, supported by an accelerating organic growth of eight per cent versus previous year.
The refinancing package was provided by SEB and Ares Management.
Stefan Franssen, partner at GMT Communication Partners, says: “When we acquired Karnov, it was already well positioned in attractive niche markets of the professional information industry, but also had great potential to use technologies to radically improve its offering to customers. Since then we have worked with management to deliver an ambitious strategic growth plan and are seeing this translate into really strong performance. This refinancing gives the business the platform it now needs to continue this exciting growth story.”
Michael Jonsén, head of SEB mid cap acquisition finance in Denmark, says: “We are delighted to enter a new strategic relationship with Karnov and GMT, by providing long-term financing and daily banking services for Karnov. We have followed the group closely over the past couple of years, and are impressed by the transformation and development achieved under the new management and GMT’s ownership. We are looking forward to our cooperation and being part of the further development of the company.”
Carl Helander, managing director Nordic region at Ares Management Ltd, says: “We are very pleased to have been involved in Karnov since the acquisition in 2011 and the second lien loan Ares provided demonstrates our flexible approach to financing and ability to work closely with local banks in the Nordic region.  We are also delighted to be continuing our involvement with the business, alongside GMT and SEB, and look forward to supporting Karnov in the next exiting phase of its growth.”

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