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Swedish Starlight joins Eastway/AVAB CAC


CapMan Press Release 10 April 2012 at 1.30 p.m. EET

Swedish Starlight joins Eastway/AVAB CAC

Eastavab Group Oy, an audiovisual equipment rental and event organising company jointly owned by CapMan Buyout IX fund and the management team, has agreed to merge with Swedish United Audio Starlight AB (“Starlight”). Eastavab Group is the holding company of Finnish Eastway and Norwegian AVAB CAC. Together Eastavab and Starlight will form the leading audiovisual equipment rental company operating in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The owners aim to increase the new group’s market share in its existing geographies and to continue to expand to new market areas.

Starlight is the leading Swedish rental and touring company for the entertainment industry. The company offers its customers turnkey solutions covering technical equipment, stage structures and logistics. Starlight was founded in 2006 through a merger between United Audio AB and Starlight AB. The new group comprising Eastavab and Starlight is expected to generate a turnover of approx. €75 million in 2012.

“Our strategy together with Eastavab management is to build a leading player in the Nordic audiovisual equipment rental market. The merger with Sweden’s top equipment rental company Starlight is a significant step towards achieving this goal. We see major growth potential in Sweden both organically and through acquisitions”, says Olli Liitola, Senior Partner at CapMan and responsible for Eastavab investment.

“We are excited to become part of a large Nordic group. With support from CapMan, the group is well positioned to grow and become a clear market leader in equipment rental across the Nordic region”, says Per Eriksson, CEO of Starlight.

“Starlight is an excellent addition to Eastavab Group. Through the merger, we are establishing a true Nordic platform with the scale, product range, competence and geographic presence to provide customers and partners with the industry’s best solutions, services and products. Furthermore, we can achieve greater efficiency in operations and significant synergies in e.g. purchasing of equipment. Sharing best practices and optimising our offering in the Nordic level enables us to provide a wider range of services and products to our customers, and to achieve cost savings in subcontracting”, says Trond Lutdal, CEO of Eastavab.

Completion of the transaction is subject to certain conditions being fulfilled and it is expected to occur during May 2012. Following the merger, the owners of Starlight will become shareholders in the holding company Eastavab Group.

Further information:
Olli Liitola, Senior Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +358 400 605 040
Per Eriksson, CEO, United Audio Starlight AB, tel. +46 226 77323
Trond Lutdal, CEO, Eastavab Group Oy, tel. +47 90544556

CapMan Group is one of the leading private equity firms in the Nordic countries and Russia, with assets under management of €3.1 billion. CapMan has four key investment partnerships – CapMan Buyout, CapMan Russia, CapMan Public Market, and CapMan Real Estate – each of which has its own dedicated investment team and funds. Altogether, CapMan employs 120 people in Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Moscow and Luxembourg. CapMan was established in 1989 and has been listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange since 2001.

United Audio Starlight