Karnov Group seals refinancing deal

Karnov Group, a Scandinavian information and business intelligence provider backed by GMT Communication Partners has secured a refinancing following a period of investment and accelerating growth. Karnov provides legal and tax & accounting information to businesses in Demark and Sweden and was acquired by GMT, a European TMT-focused private equity group, in 2011 from Thomson Reuters.


Karnov Group (“Karnov”), the Scandinavian information and business intelligence provider backed by GMT
Communication Partners (“GMT”), is delighted to announce that it has secured a DKK 510 million refinancing following
a period of investment and accelerating growth.
Karnov provides legal and tax & 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 cloudbased
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 indispensable 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 DKK 300 million for 2014, mainly generated by its online platform, supported by an accelerating
organic growth of 8% versus previous year.
The refinancing package was provided by SEB and Ares Management Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ares
Management LLC..
Stefan Franssen, partner at GMT Communication Partners, commented:
“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
According to CEO Tobias Hartmann, Karnov’s transformation from a traditional information provider into a modern
information technology company with a top-performing online knowledge platform happened at the right time, with
customers – ranging from government departments, tax and accounting companies, students and law firms –
becoming far more likely to access information and data digitally. And the future looks very bright, according to Tobias
Hartmann: “As a business, it is vital that we not only meet but exceed our customers’ requirements. With a strong
foundation built on our customer-centric approach and new, innovative products, we expect to be able to further
expand our presence rapidly in Sweden and Denmark.”
Michael Jonsén, Head of SEB Mid Cap Acquisition Finance in Denmark, added:
“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., commented:
“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. “
more information:
Karnov Group
Jette Skeem Jette.Skeem@KarnovGroup.com +45 33 741 243
GMT Communications Partners
Stefan Franssen +44(0)20 7292 9333
Equus Group (for GMT)
Piers Hooper Piers.Hooper@EquusGroup.co.uk +44(0)20 7223 1100
James Culverhouse James.Culverhouse@EquusGroup.co.uk +44(0)20 7223 1100
Karnov Group:
Karnov Group (www.karnovgroup.com) is the leading provider of information to legal and tax professionals in Denmark
and Sweden, and the number one partner in continued legal education in Sweden. There are 110 employees in
Denmark and 50 in Sweden. Karnov Group is owned by GMT Communications Partners, an independent private equity
firm, focusing on European businesses within media, information, telecom and entertainment.
Karnov Group strives to help their customers be better at their jobs, in order for them to be able to better society.
Today Karnov Group covers the whole spectrum of analytical content for their customers’ specialties. Karnov Group’s
publications span across innovative Ph.D. theses, easy-reference study books and legal annotations, magazines and
manuals. The online solutions enable informed business decision making for more than 30,000 users every day. The
solutions are updated daily and the functionalities continuously developed.
GMT Communications Partners is a leading private equity firm focusing on investments in the European
Communications Industry. With a 20 year record of active investing, the GMT team is Europe’s longest-established
private equity firm specialising in the Communications arena. Pioneers during the growth of the European
Communications Industry, GMT has established three funds since its launch in 1993 and has made 32 investments
across 19 countries. GMT has organised syndicated portfolio financings – including equity and debt – with a total value
in excess of €3.5 billion.
With a track record and skill set built over a series of successful funds comprising over €775 million of capital, and with
the backing of a powerful group of international investors, GMT aims to further expand its franchise to remain one of
the leading specialist, independent private equity firms in Europe. Its objectives of working with the best possible
entrepreneurs, anticipating future industry developments and providing continuity and experience to the investment
process continue to provide top quartile returns to investors. Read more about GMT at www.gmtpartners.com
SEB is a leading Nordic financial services group. As a relationship bank, SEB in Sweden and the Baltic countries offers
financial advice and a wide range of financial services. In Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany the bank’s
operations have a strong focus on corporate and investment banking based on a full-service offering to corporate and
institutional clients. The international nature of SEB’s business is reflected in its presence in some 20 countries
worldwide. On December 31, 2013, the Group’s total assets amounted to SEK 2,485 billion while its assets under
management totalled SEK 1,475 billion. The Group has about 16,000 employees. Read more about SEB at
Ares Management LLC
Ares Management LLC is a global alternative asset manager and SEC registered investment adviser with
approximately $71 billion of committed capital under management and 700 employees as of December 31, 2013. Ares
is headquartered in Los Angeles with professionals located across the United States, Europe and Asia and invests
across the capital structure – from senior debt to common equity. Ares’ investment activities are managed by dedicated
teams in its Capital Markets, Private Debt, Private Equity and Real Estate investment platforms. Ares Management
was built upon the fundamental principle that each platform benefits from being part of the greater whole. This multiasset
class synergy provides its professionals with insights into industry trends, access to significant deal flow and the
ability to assess relative value. For additional information, visit www.aresmgmt.com