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Finnvera as a provider of financing for changes of ownership

16.09.2010

Nearly 30 per cent of companies plan a change of ownership within the next five years. It is therefore expected that both changes of generation and other ownership arrangements will increase this autumn and next year. Finnvera is prepared to finance company acquisitions actively together with other financiers.

According to the SME Barometer survey conducted this autumn, 27 per cent of companies expect a change of ownership within the next five years. In particular, small industrial enterprises are faced with a change in ownership. One reason for the rise in ownership arrangements is the ageing of the large post-war entrepreneur generation: nearly half of all entrepreneurs have passed their 50th birthday.

“By providing financing, we want for our own part to guarantee that as many SMEs as possible can continue in business after a changeover, such as a change of generation or ownership. It is also important from the perspective of society that good and viable enterprises carry on their business. Acquisition of an enterprise is therefore a good alternative to the establishment of a new enterprise. As a specialised financier, we can take greater risks than commercial financiers; in consequence, our participation often helps ensure the arrangement of all the financing for the project,” says Executive Vice President Veijo Ojala of Finnvera.

Ownership arrangements require time, and planning for them must be started in good time. It also pays to use expert help provided by both public enterprise service organisations and private operators. Each case is different; in consequence, no ready-made, tailored solutions are available.

During a company acquisition, the most common problems concern value determination and the arrangement of total financing. “Moreover, finding a successor is often challenging. It is also in society’s interests that viable businesses are not wound up for lack of a successor. Each company acquisition or change of generation is individual, and both the seller and the successor must attend to the matter carefully. During a company’s life cycle, a change of ownership is a point of discontinuity, from which a new enterprise story can start under the new owner.”

An estimated 2,500–3,000 companies undergo ownership arrangements annually. Finnvera has yearly contributed to the financing of 1,000–1,300 ownership arrangements. By the end of August this year, Finnvera had participated in 700 arrangements and had offered a total of EUR 88.1 million for financing them.

Additional information:
Veijo Ojala, Executive Vice President, tel. +358 20 460 7405

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