CapMan Press Release – 8 June 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EET
Nice Entertainment Group acquires Playroom
Nice Entertainment Group (Nice), a pan-Nordic content production group, has signed an agreement to acquire Norwegian event management company Playroom AS. Following the acquisition, Nice will significantly increase its market share in Norway’s branded entertainment market and further reinforce its position as the leading independent television production company and entertainment group in the Nordic region. Nice is jointly owned by funds managed by CapMan, the current management team and key employees. Playroom’s founders will also become shareholders of Nice.
Founded in 2001, Playroom is an entertainment house focused on experience-based communication through event management, artist management and record production. The company has grown significantly in recent years and is today one of the leading and most innovative event companies in Norway.
The acquisition will strengthen Nice’s position in Norway as Playroom complements Monster, Nice’s Norwegian television and commercial production business. Through Playroom, Monster is able to access a more diversified client base, expand offerings to existing clients, reduce time to market for events, and increase revenues through utilization of established television concepts and media production capabilities at Playroom events. The transaction also facilitates the creation of a pan-Nordic event platform through cooperation with other companies under the Nice umbrella. The combined business is estimated to generate approximately EUR 120 million in 2012.
“Playroom is an ideal fit with Monster as we strive to expand Nice within branded entertainment. The prerequisite of success in this rapidly growing segment of the entertainment industry is a strong foundation that consists of excellent players from different market segments. Co-operation between Norway and Sweden in terms of event management is an additional rationale behind the Playroom acquisition. In light of the growing interest in branded entertainment across the Nordics, we have a lot to gain from the development of a joint customer base and the utilization of program formats for events,” says Morten Aass, CEO of Nice.
“Playroom has co-operated with Monster since our inception. Over time, our partnership has evolved from television production to delivering a combination of programming and events. Our being part of the same family is a natural development of our shared history and will strengthen our offering to our customers. As owners of Nice, we remain committed to cultivating the Playroom concept as part of a larger organisation,” says Jens Nesse of Playroom.
“The acquisition of Playroom supports the strategic objectives of Nice as it emphasizes the group’s position as a leading Nordic content production group. As majority owners we will continue to further develop the Nice group of companies in order to achieve valuable synergies,” says Olli Liitola, Senior Partner in charge of the investment in Nice at CapMan.
Nice was founded by merging Finnish Moskito Group, Norwegian Monster Group and Swedish Baluba Group. In 2009, Nice acquired Danish Gong, thereby expanding its presence across the Nordic countries. In 2011, Nice further strengthened its position in the largest market for Nordic television production by acquiring Titan, a leading production company in Sweden.
CapMan Buyout VIII fund, in which the CapMan Group is a substantial investor, holds a majority share in Nice, while the group’s management and key employees are minority shareholders. Following the acquisition, the founders of Playroom will also become shareholders of Nice.
Completion of the transaction is subject to certain conditions being fulfilled and is expected to occur during June 2012.
Olli Liitola, Senior Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +358 400 605 040
Morten Aass, CEO, Nice Entertainment Group, tel. +47 970 270 00
CapMan is one of the leading private equity firms in the Nordic countries and Russia, with assets under management of 3.0 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 approx. 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.
Playroom consists of three divisions: events, music and artists. The event division is the largest and has demonstrated strong growth since its inception in 2007. Playroom was the only Norwegian event management player that grew in the challenging year of 2008. Today the company is one of the largest in the Norwegian event management business, and has a number of partnership agreements with some the most important Norwegian companies.