- Ferd Capital invested in Servi Group, and Interwell did one "add-on" investment.
- The change in ownership of Aibel was carried out, and the partnership with Ratos was established.
- Ferd Capital sold its ownership interest in Help Forsikring, and Napatech A/S was listed on the Oslo stock exchange.
- The portfolio companies reported good results and a good return for Ferd.
Ferd Capital invested in Servi Group, and Interwell did one "add-on" investment.
The global macroeconomic climate was calmer in 2013 than in 2012. European markets stabilised, and the US market showed signs of improvement. On the other hand, some areas of the Norwegian economy showed signs of weakness, with residential property prices levelling off and slower economic growth due to a slowdown in the oil sector. As a result, oil and gas related companies reported weaker results in 2013, while other sectors experienced more variable performance.
2013 was an eventful year for many of our portfolio companies:
- Aibel achieved an important milestone in 2013 when the deck of the Gudrun platform was delivered on time and on target for quality and HSE. In addition, Statoil demonstrated its continuing confidence in Aibel by exercising options under the terms of its maintenance and modification framework agreement. However, Aibel faced challenging market conditions since a number of field development projects were awarded to international players, and Statoil indicated that it intends to reduce the volume of its framework contract. This has made it necessary for Aibel to adjust its resource base and focus on increasing its competitiveness.
The change in ownership of Aibel was carried out, and the partnership with Ratos was established.
- Elopak made a sizeable investment in 2013 to establish EloBrick as a separate business area, with its own organisational structure and production facilities.
- TeleComputing was again successful in securing renewals of many important customer contracts in 2013, while at the same time attracting new customers. This resulted in a larger order backlog at the end of 2013 than at any time in the company's history.
- Mestergruppen has a comprehensive agenda of growth and improvement initiatives, and as part of its focus on strengthening its organisation Mikkel Sandvik was appointed as the company's new CEO in 2013. Despite weak market conditions, Mestergruppen succeeded in improving its normalised EBITDA relative to 2012.
- Interwell reported yet another year of strong organic growth in revenue (52%), principally driven by the company's successful international expansion. The company also continued its commitment to technological development by acquiring and developing new technology that will help to provide the basis for future growth.
- Swix continued to focus on increasing its revenue from markets outside Norway, and in 2013 it took over sales and distribution of Swix products in Sweden. Swix also elected not to renew its sponsorship agreement with the Norwegian Ski Federation (NSF) and instead entered into a long-term sponsorship agreement with the Norwegian Biathlon Association (NSSF).
- Servi joined Ferd Capital's portfolio in July, and continued to report positive performance throughout 2013, principally driven by strong growth in the rig and marine segment.
In July, Ferd Capital purchased 100% of the shares in Servi Group, the market leader for hydraulic solutions and systems for the Norwegian offshore industry. Ferd Capital purchased the company from the Swedish industrial company PMC Group, which is in turn owned by the Swedish private equity fund Segulah III.
Ferd Capital sold its ownership interest in Help Forsikring in May to ARAG SE. Napatech A/S was listed on the Oslo stock exchange in December, and following the listing Ferd Capital holds approximately 22% of the company's share capital.
Ferd Capital actively seeks "add-on" investments for existing portfolio companies, and in early 2014 Interwell increased its ownership interest in the well technology company Vosstech from 33% to 66%.
The Ferd Capital business area had 9 employees at the end of the year, who represent a broad range of experience from Ferd and previous employment. The members of the Ferd Capital team are all able to take on a range of roles in carrying out projects for evaluating new investments and during the ownership phase of our portfolio companies.
Ferd Capital has a portfolio of strong companies that are well placed to continue to create value in 2014 and future years.
Ferd also has a sizeable unused investment capacity, and will focus on working proactively with new investment opportunities, both in the form of “add-ons" to existing portfolio companies and potential new portfolio companies.