The Q2 2016 Nordic exit analysis: 27 acquisitions, 8 IPOs

As the investment scene continues to mature, the exit market continues to do so too, as Q2 brought us 27 Nordic tech acquisitions and 8 IPOs.

With the exit scene continually evolving, we’ve updated our methodology for recording exits, and as such the following were not included in this analysis.

Acquisitions announced in Q2 but not yet officially finalised:

Denmark’s Sitecore gains ‘Eunicorn’ status as EQT buys majority stake at €1 billion valuation

Finland’s JOT Automation and its sale to Wuxi Lead Intelligent Equipment for $84 million

Finland’s Okmetic receives takeover offer from China’s National Silicon

Tele2 to buy TDC Sweden for $352 million

Com Hem buys Boxer for €144m

Qliro Group sells Tretti

Existing owners or shares under new ownership:

Tencent to buy SoftBank’s stake in ‘Clash of Clans’ maker Supercell for more than $8 billion

The founder buys back Swedish e-commerce success Inkclub

The founders of Cloapp have bought out investor Benitez Holdings

Nordic origins but not headquartered in the region:

Thoma Bravo acquires Qlik Technologies for $3 Billion

So, what does that leave us with?

In Q2 2016, there were 35 tech exits in the Nordics, totalling a disclosed $845.68 million

Of the 35, an incredible 8 of these were IPO’s, meaning that 2016 has now seen 11 Nordic tech companies float, as public markets continue to excel in the Nordics despite the struggles in the US with tech companies going public.

As is the case with funding, Sweden dominates, with 6 in 10 tech exits in the Nordics in Q2 occurring in Sweden. It should also be noted that 7 of the 8 IPO’s also occured in Sweden. It could be argued that elsewhere it was a pretty slow quarter in the Nordics for exits.

Q2 ensured that the recent increase in VC-backed Nordic tech exits was maintained as essentially 1 in every 2 exits ensured some return was provided to an investor, further enhancing the Nordics as an attractive place to invest in.

Further reading: 44.4% of Nordic tech exits in 2016 are VC-backed, up from 25% in 2015

As ever, other Nordic companies made up the majority of the acquirers, with the U.S being the most prolific outside of the region. Taking Q1 into account, 2016 has seen 49.28% of the acquisitions involving a Nordic buyer and seller. Companies from the U.S are still accounting for 14.49% but this is dramatically down from the 45% they represented in 2014. However, this is predominantly due to domestic purchases increasing.

All in all, it was another strong quarter for Nordic tech exits, especially considering the fact that Sitecore became/will become a unicorn and Supercell became Europe’s first ‘decacorn’, with neither of these forming part of the official analysis. With VC-backed exits and IPOs both increasing further, everything appears to be moving in the right direction, with no signs of any slowdown.

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— Nathan Benaich, Playfair Capital

Neil S W Murray founded The Nordic Web in 2014 in order to provide the Nordics with the quality coverage it deserves. As well as being Founding Editor of The Nordic Web, Neil is also an active community builder in the region, participating in a number of initiatives, and has previously worked for