Investcorp acquires Nordic telematics firm ABAX

6 Jun 2017

Investcorp, a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of ABAX Group (“ABAX” or the “Company”), an international market leader in vehicle tracking technology, from Norvestor Equity AS for an enterprise value of NOK 1.8 billion ($210 million). The transaction is Investcorp’s fourth investment in the telematics sector globally and its fourth in Scandinavia in the past 18 months.

Founded in 2003, ABAX has become one of Europe’s fastest growing technology businesses and the leading telematics solution provider in the Nordics by developing and delivering sophisticated fleet tracking, electronic triplogs, equipment & vehicle control systems and order management systems. Headquartered in Larvik, Norway, the Company has around 350 employees and established operations across the Nordic region as well as in Poland, the Netherlands, the UK and China. For the full-year 2016, the company reported a 32% increase in revenue to NOK 471 million. At the start of 2017, ABAX had over 200,000 active subscriptions across 25,500 customers.

Investcorp plans to support ABAX’s international growth both organically and by add-on acquisitions, further expanding its customer base into new geographies as telematics solutions become increasingly relevant in the automotive industry. Operating in a highly fragmented market, Investcorp believes that ABAX is well positioned to leverage its prominent brand and reputation to continue to deliver a high quality of service to its customers backed by the additional operational experience Investcorp is able to bring to the Company.

Commenting on the investment, Hazem Ben-Gacem, Investcorp’s Head of Corporate Investment in Europe, said, “ABAX’s market position and what we think are terrific growth prospects represent an attractive investment opportunity for Investcorp. As one of Europe’s fastest growing telematics companies, ABAX is well placed to further expand in the connected vehicle industry. Having made three previous investments in this exciting sector, we bring successful telematics experience and operational know-how and we look forward to partnering with the management team to establish the Company as a leading player in the global market.”

Petter Quinsgaard, ABAX Chief Executive Officer, added, “Our conversations with Investcorp in the lead up to this agreement gave us great confidence that they will  help us take this company forward. We think that Investcorp’s track record in the Nordic region as well as their understanding of broader technology markets will provide us with the ideal support to expand our international reach in the telematics industry. Investcorp’s acquisition of ABAX demonstrates confidence in the growth potential of this Company and we look forward to working together to accelerate the Company’s growth in the years to come.”

Investcorp has established a market leading position of investing in the fast-growing fleet telematics sector having previously owned SageQuest and Fleetmatics which rapidly expanded under its ownership and successfully merged and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012, creating the fastest growing global fleet tracking software provider, ultimately acquired by Verizon for $2.4 billion. Investcorp continues to see a strong technology deal pipeline with ABAX being its third investment in the technology sector in the last six months.

ABAX marks Investcorp’s fourth investment in Scandinavia in the last 18 months, having previously acquired Coresec, Sweden’s largest managed cyber security service provider; POC, a Stockholm-based revolutionary manufacturer of skiing and cycling helmets, gear and accessories; and Ageras, the Copenhagen-based online B2B marketplace for professional services.

Investcorp was advised by Arma Partners (M&A), Proskauer (legal) and PwC (market, financial and tax).

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