Appelsiini acquired by Elisa

Appelsiini is one of the leading independent IT services providers in Scandinavia, offering a wide range of IT consulting, application development, outsourcing and support services to a broad range of enterprise and corporate clients.

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Throughout a particularly challenging process that required balancing the interests of all internal and external parties, Cerca Trova did a tremendous job in moving things forward and was instrumental in achieving a very successful outcome for us. I am extremely happy with the result.
— Matti Oksanen, Chairman of the Board

The Challenge

Appelsiini as a company was almost completely owned by its current and former employees with a highly fragmented shareholding structure. Further, due in part to the very strong performance of the company, the various owners had substantially differing views on when an exit should occur, and at what valuation. The Board needed an objective advisor to balance the needs of the various shareholders and achieve an exit valuation that fairly reflected the significant growth prospects of the business. They were attracted by Cerca Trova’s deep knowledge of the Nordic ICT market, their negotiation expertise, and their ability to run a customized process to explore all possible transaction types – the sale of a minority, a majority, or 100% of their business.

The Solution

Elisa Corporation, a leading provider of communications and mobile services in the Nordic countries, acquired all the issued shares of Appelsiini in October 2010 for approximately €15 million. The combination created an IT services powerhouse in Scandinavia and represented a significant milestone in Elisa’s strategy to invest in and grow its capabilities in the burgeoning outsourced IT services market. For Appelsiini, the transaction represented an attractive exit at a time of increasing market uncertainty and a strong platform for future growth and expansion.

Cerca Trova Advisors Role

  • Completed a comprehensive study of exit alternatives to help the Board evaluate the full spectrum of options and the risks and rewards of each
  • Balanced the interests of all internal and external parties and allowing Cerca Trova to be perceived as an objective advisor throughout the process
  • Rapidly generated strong interest in the company, leading to multiple offers to purchase part or all of the shares and expanding the range of options for the owners
  • Leveraged the market’s strong interest in order to optimize both price and terms in the final transaction