Preqin’s comprehensive Fund Manager Profiles online service reveals that there are currently 291 private equity fund managers focused on investing in the Nordic region as part of a wider focus. Collectively, these firms have raised approximately €286bn in the last 10 years and have an estimated €81bn in dry powder. Of the 291 GPs, 146 choose to focus exclusively on investment opportunities within the Nordic region, raising an aggregate of €19bn over the last decade and with an estimated €6bn in dry powder available to invest.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of GPs focused on the Nordic region as part of a wider focus are based within the region, with 70% headquartered in Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden. The largest of the domestic hubs is Sweden, with 81 private equity firms considering investing in Nordic-based companies based in this country. Out of the 87 GPs based outside the Nordic region, the UK holds the highest number of fund managers, with its 37 GPs just exceeding that of Norway and Iceland. Although it appears that a higher proportion of private equity firms targeting the region for investment are situated domestically, foreign GPs have collectively raised over four times more capital in the last 10 years and currently hold over four times more dry powder than domestic fund managers.
The largest of these firms in terms of total funds raised in the last 10 years is Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which has raised just over €42bn. The firm was established in 1976 and is headquartered in New York. KKR invests via leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, refinancing and management buyouts across the globe. The firm closed KKR European Fund III on €4.7bn in 2009, which is its most recent fund to target investment opportunities in Europe and the Nordic region. KKR also hold the highest level of dry powder, at approximately €15bn.
The largest domestic-based fund manager in terms of total funds raised over the last decade, EQT Partners, has raised a total of just over €14bn in capital commitments. The Sweden-based firm is focused on buyouts, growth financing, special situations and infrastructure, particularly in the mid-market. EQT was established in 1994 and current holds over €4bn in estimated uncalled capital available to invest across the globe including the Nordic region. The firm currently has offices in Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Munich, New York, Oslo, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich.
With the majority of capital being invested into companies situated in the Nordic region originating from foreign-based GPs and, in some cases, from foreign-based LPs investing in domestically-based fund managers, it would seem that the region’s fundraising activity is heavily dependent on interest from outside of its borders.