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Solid Growth for EQT Portfolio in 2012

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  • EQT portfolio companies saw steady growth in 2012 despite weak economic climate
  • Sales grew by 11% on average and EBITDA improved by 10%
  • In 2012, EQT funds distributed EUR 2.1 billion to its investors

NEW YORK, June 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In 2012, sales of EQT's 49 portfolio companies increased on average by 11% compared to 2011 and EBITDA increased by an average of 10%. By the end of 2012, the number of employees stood at more than 550,000. Further increases in sales and EBITDA in the first quarter of 2013 demonstrate the portfolio's strong position.

In total, EUR 2.1 billion was distributed to investors in EQT's funds in 2012. Since EQT's first fund was raised in 1995, a total of EUR 13.9 billion has been distributed to investors.

"The weak economic climate, fiscal tightening and slow growth in much of Europe and USA have posed challenges to all growth- and export-oriented companies. However, thanks to a combination of active boards and managements, appropriate actions and a long-term approach, the EQT portfolio has secured healthy growth and stable margins," said Conni Jonsson, Managing Partner and co-founder of EQT.

The 49 portfolio companies had a combined turnover in 2012 of EUR 25 billion and an aggregated EBITDA of EUR 2.9 billion.

During 2012, the EQT funds acquired 10 companies and divested five. The total enterprise value of the acquired companies was approximately EUR 3.5 billion and the total enterprise value of the divested portfolio companies was approximately EUR 3.9 billion. To date in 2013, four further investments as well as one divestment have been made.

Of the 49 companies the EQT funds have invested in, 35 increased their turnover while 14 experienced mostly minor declines in sales.

"I believe that EQT's focus, supporting growth, competitiveness and operational excellence helps the companies to gain an edge in a tough market. Even accounting for economic differences across geographies, I expect the companies owned by the EQT funds to continue to do well in 2013 and to advance their market positions even further," said Christian Sinding, Head of Equity at EQT Partners, investment advisor to the EQT funds.

The fastest growing company in the EQT funds' portfolios in 2012 was AcadeMedia with a 76% growth in sales to SEK 4,718 million while EBITDA increased by 63% to SEK 508 million. Chinese retail chain Qinyuan increased sales with 40% to USD 64 million while EBITDA increased by 45% to USD 12 million. Other companies with strong growth rates were XXL which increased sales by 26%, Scandic Hotels which grew by 10%, HTL Strefa which increased sales by 15% and Springer Science with a 12% increase in sales.

2012 was an eventful year for the portfolio companies with several add-on acquisitions, entries into new markets and new product categories. One of the most significant events was an agreement to divest Gambro Group to the global diversified healthcare company Baxter International, further strengthening Gambro's position as a global dialysis company.

Selected portfolio company events and achievements 2012

  • Munksjö to merge with Ahlstrom's Label & Processing business area to form global leader in specialty paper.
  • Broadnet and Infiber decided to merge and create a leading Norwegian communications group.
  • Chinese pharmacy chain LBX added a net of 48 outlets in 2012, reaching a total of 622. Ranked No. 2 of China's pharmacy chains since 2008 by China Chain Store and Franchise Association.
  • XXL opened four new stores in Sweden and two in Norway. Finland is next on management´s agenda.
  • RTI was acquired by EQT Infrastructure in May 2011 and since that time RTI has accelerated investment in its depot network across USA and its sales force with a corresponding increase of 3,000 customers (~18%).

Portfolio company key figures 2012
-- Sales: Grew 11% on average in 2012 from 2011
-- EBITDA: Grew 10% on average in 2012 from 2011
-- Employees (FTE): More than 550,000 by year end 2012
-- Consolidated: Sales EUR 25 billion, EBITDA EUR 2.9 billion
-- Acquisitions: 10
-- Total EV acquisitions: Approximately EUR 3.5 billion
-- Divestments: 5
-- Total EV divestments: Approximately EUR 3.9 billion

Facts about EQT

EQT is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with approximately EUR 20 billion in raised capital, portfolio companies with total sales of more than EUR 25 billion and over 550,000 employees. The funds' investment philosophy is to help acquired companies grow and develop into great and sustainable companies, both under EQT's ownership and with future owners. The result so far: the over 60 previously or currently owned portfolio companies have during EQT's ownership seen an average annual increase in the number of employees by 11%, sales by 11% and earnings by 15%. Almost all of the return on investments is attributed to operational improvements such as increased sales and efficiency gains.

EQT supports a growth oriented business strategy, which has its roots in the Nordic culture, and a transparent governance model, combined with access to EQT's unique international network of industrialists. By implementing clear strategies and having access to operational expertise and ownership skills, the portfolio companies develop and grow. The strategies and implementation of operational excellence are driven by the appointed CEO and management team, board members who are handpicked from EQT's Industrial Network. Portfolio companies are monitored by more than 120 Investment Advisory Professionals from EQT Partners. EQT´s funds represent the investment of hundreds of investors from all parts of the world.

Funds launched since the beginning of 2012 are managed in the Netherlands, the UK and Luxembourg. EQT Holdings AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden is the parent company of these general partners/fund managers. This means that EQT applies a corporate structure with transparency for all stakeholders, unique in the private equity industry.

EQT's mission since its first investment two decades ago remains the same – create value in medium-sized to large companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States by investing, helping them to develop and transform into great, leading companies.

CONTACT: EQT Holdings Communications: +46 8 506 55 389 ruth.corke@eqt.se

Source:EQT Partners Inc.