Private equity in the Nordics
– The Nordic region is regarded as highly attractive for international investors due to steady economic growth and a stable political environment, and we believe that this will continue, says Are Stenberg, Investment Director in the private equity firm Norvestor.
Stenberg is one of the speakers at the Norwegian Venture Capital Conference 2019 held the 26th of March in Trondheim, the tech capital of Norway. The Conference is organized by Investinor in cooperation with the Norwegian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (NVCA) and Tequity Cluster.
– There are strong trends related to digitization, sustainability and healthcare. We see attractive opportunities for example related to various services segments, both related to business and to consumers, combined with digitization which improves efficiency and reduces costs. Healthcare offerings, potentially combined with new technology, is also an attractive space, says Stenberg.
Stenberg sees an increased awareness related to private equity. An increasing number of business owners and management teams regard private equity players as attractive growth partners which can help them develop the business.
– While private equity players earlier were often regarded as raw capitalists, the private equity industry is now respected for building strong and sustainable businesses. Private equity companies must more often demonstrate their relevance and prove how they can contribute to the growth of a company, for example by providing relevant industry expertise. The private equity industry has also developed to be in the forefront of sustainable business development, while also ensuring environmental focus and healthy corporate governance.
Norwegian private equity funds invested a total of NOK 8.5 billion in 2017 according to NVCA, which was significantly lower than the record investment in 2016 of almost NOK 12 billion.
Investment in the Norwegian venture market continues the falling trend. They reached 544 million in this segment last year, divided by 74 transactions. This was a 30 percent decrease from 2016. Updated numbers for the third quarter will be presented at the conference.