Zmarta Acquisition Named Nordic Deal of the Year by Real Deals

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


William Blair is proud to announce that Real Deals magazine, which covers European private equity, recently named Bauer Media Group’s acquisition of Zmarta Group as the Nordic Deal of the Year for 2016. William Blair served as sell-side advisor to Zmarta, a portfolio company majority owned by an affiliate of H.I.G. European Capital Partners LLP, a European affiliate of global private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.

The transaction highlights buyers’ growing interest in financial technology companies that are focused on continental Europe. Based in Sweden, Zmarta is the Nordic region’s leading financial technology marketplace, offering consumers a range of financial solutions such as loans and insurance from Zmarta’s comprehensive partner network. Zmarta recently expanded into Germany, and Hamburg-based Bauer emerged as a compelling partner to support the next phase of Zmarta’s growth. Bauer is one of the world’s most successful media corporations, with a portfolio of more than 600 magazines, 400 digital products, and 100 radio and TV stations across the globe.

“Our bankers’ deep expertise in high-growth sectors such as financial technology and relationships with strategic buyers around the world allow us to help innovative companies like Zmarta and their financial sponsors achieve outstanding outcomes,” said Brent Gledhill, William Blair’s global head of investment banking.

For the past decade, financial technology has been one of the most active sectors in European technology. While London has clearly been the European epicenter of much of the innovation in financial services, many promising financial technology companies have emerged across the continent.

“Financial sponsors and strategic acquirers have always looked to Europe to find disruptive forces in financial technology,” said Matthew Gooch, William Blair’s head of European investment banking. “Britain’s exit from the European Union and ongoing reforms in the European Union’s financial regulatory system could cause this trend to accelerate over the next several years especially in areas like Scandanavia, DACH, Benelux, and France, which may historically have taken a backseat to the U.K. in financial technology.”

H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with €18 billion of equity capital under management. Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the United States, as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and midsize companies.

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