Swedish firm Ratos Buys Car Broker in $78M Deal

Swedish private equity firm Ratos will acquire automobile auction and valuation company KVD Kvarndammen in a deal valuing the company at 550 million kronor ($78 million). Ratos will provide equity of approximately 360 million kronor ($51.4 million), the company said. Formed in 1991, Kvarndammen is Sweden’s largest independent broker for cars. The deal is expected to close by January 2011.

Ratos has concluded an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in the auction and valuation company KVD Kvarndammen AB for an Enterprise Value of SEK 550m.

The sellers are the Sixth AP Fund and the company’s founders. Ratos will provide equity of approximately SEK 360m.

Kvarndammen (KVD) is Sweden’s largest independent broker for cars. The company, which was founded in 1991, runs kvd.se where cars, heavy vehicles, machines, liquidation goods and surplus goods are offered for sale at weekly online auctions. KVD Kvarndammen has facilities at 12 locations in Sweden where all the items are inspected and valued prior to sale. The company includes Sweden’s largest valuation portal for cars, bilpriser.se.

Today KVD Kvarndammen only accepts sales assignments from companies and authorities. Over 18,000 vehicles and 14,000 other auction items were sold in 2009 on kvd.se. Revenues comprise commissions on sales and services. The company has 165 employees and the head office is in Gothenburg. In 2009 KVD Kvarndammen posted sales of SEK 217m and operating profit (EBITA) amounted to SEK 36m.

“Kvarndammen has a unique business model where the company’s independence, high number of unique visitors, and transparency create conditions for market prices.

The company thereby delivers value to both buyer and seller. Since Kvarndammen is still a small player, we see good opportunities to capture market shares as well as for expansion within new areas,” says Ratos CEO Arne Karlsson.

Ratos’s holding will amount to 100%. The Enterprise Value for the acquisition amounts to SEK 550m, of which Ratos will provide equity of approximately SEK 360m. The acquisition is subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed in January 2011 at the latest.

For further information:

Arne Karlsson, CEO, via CEO’s Assistant Nina Aggebäck +46 76 125 09 01 Emma Rheborg, Head of Corporate Communications & IR, +46 8 700 17 20

Ratos is a listed private equity company. The business concept is to maximise shareholder value over time by investing in, developing and divesting primarily unlisted companies. Ratos offers investors a unique investment opportunity.

Ratos’s equity is approximately SEK 14 billion and has a market capitalisation of approximately SEK 37 billion. Ratos’s holdings include AH Industries, Anticimex, Arcus Gruppen, Bisnode, Camfil, Contex, DIAB, EuroMaint, GS-Hydro, Hafa Bathroom Group, HL Display, Inwido, Jøtul, Lindab, Medisize, Mobile Climate Control, SB Seating, Stofa, Superfos and Other holdings.