GMT Communications Partners (GMT), the European TMT-focused private equity group, has acquired Sverige Bygger AB and Norge Bygges AS through its portfolio company, DOCUgroup, for a total consideration of EUR15.2 million. This acquisition is DOCU’s thirteenth bolt-on since GMT acquired the platform in 2004. The combined business is expected to generate revenue of approximately EUR121 million.
Sverige Bygger and Norge Bygges are two market-leading providers of high quality and user-friendly information and marketing services for the construction industry in Scandinavia. Sverige Bygger and Norge Bygges are expected to generate consolidated annual revenue of EUR8.4 million in 2011. The companies gather and provide detailed information about developments in the construction industry, including construction projects, construction companies, tenders and procurements. Sverige Bygger and Norge Bygges offer their customers valuable information on both current and historic construction projects and companies dating back to 1994.
Founded in 2001 and acquired by GMT in 2004, DOCUgroup has been built through organic growth and a series of acquisitions. The company supplies the construction industry with critical “must have” information regarding building projects, building materials and products, investment projects and market news. With headquarters in Germany and subsidiaries in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Czech Republic, DOCUgroup is a market-leading publishing house for the construction industry in Northern Europe.
Sverige Bygger and Norge Bygges are primarily subscription-based businesses with high renewal rates, and are forecast to grow sales strongly in the coming years. They are the perfect complement to DOCU’s existing suite of services in Scandinavia, following the acquisition of Byggfakta Group, the Nordic assets of Reed Business Information in 2009. The combination of these operations will create an even stronger overall business, bringing significant synergy gains and allowing the expansion of subscription volumes and activities including industry events.
Hawkpoint advised GMT on the transaction; Mannheimer Swartling provided legal advice to GMT and DOCU; and PwC provided financial due diligence.
Jeff Montgomery (pictured), Managing Partner at GMT, says: “We are delighted to complete the thirteenth bolt-on acquisition for DOCUgroup, adding to our operations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic and further strengthening our presence in Scandinavia. Sverige Bygger and Norge Bygges have matured quickly since their acquisition by Talentum Oyj in 2009, and now represent a value enhancing strategic acquisition for DOCUgroup. The continued growth of DOCUgroup demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in businesses with powerful web-based models and the potential for international expansion. We have backed DOCUgroup from an early stage and look forward to working with the new team to continue this success story.”
Peter Schmitz, CEO at DOCUgroup, says: “We have observed the positive development of Sverige Bygger AB and Norge Bygges AS in Talentum Group. To provide up-to-date and comprehensive construction information requires continuous investment and development, therefore combining forces in this sector makes sense and we decided to propose this transaction to Talentum. I am confident that in DOCUgroup the positive development will continue and that this transaction will be beneficial for both customers and employees.”
GMT has completed two acquisitions to date in 2011, the buyout of MeetingZone, the fast-growing independent conferencing and collaboration services provider in July, and the carve-out in April of the legal, tax and accounting information businesses of Thomson Reuters in Denmark and Sweden, recently renamed Karnov Group. The firm has also successfully exited two portfolio investments in the past year – German cable operator, PEPcom, in August 2010 and German online gaming company, Bigpoint, in April 2011.