The Finnish investment services company Ahlström Capital is selling the infrastructure company Destia to a French company.
The buyer is the Colas Group, which bills itself "the world’s leading road construction."
Francis Grass, CEO of Colas EMEA in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the acquisition is an opportunity to strengthen the Group’s presence in Northern Europe.
"We are strongly impressed by Destia’s expertise, especially in the digitization of construction sites and their expertise in maintenance services in harsh conditions. We see an opportunity to further develop business areas such as rail, ground and rock services," Grass said in a statement.
"Together with Destia’s management, we have developed the company into a leading Finnish provider of infrastructure services in a competitive market. The company has strengthened its capabilities in many key areas, including digitalization in the service business," said Ahlström Capital’s CEO Lasse Heinonen.
The transaction still requires the approval of the competition authorities. The parties have refused to disclose the purchase price.
Roots under Swedish rule
Ahlström Capital acquired Destia from the Finnish state in 2014. Destia was founded in 2008, when it became a fully state-owned limited liability company, which was established to continue the work of the Finnish road company. Before that, it was known as the Finnish Road Administration, which was originally part of the government of public roads. Its roots were in the Royal Committee founded by the King of Sweden in 1799, who then ruled Finland.
Last year, Destia’s turnover was approximately EUR 564 million and Colas’ turnover EUR 12.3 billion.
Finland’s largest infrastructure company Destia is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of traffic routes and traffic, industrial and residential environments. It has about 1,700 employees.
Tero Kiviniemi has been Destia’s President and CEO since 2018. One of his predecessors, Jukka Laaksovirta, was charged with breach of trust in 2010, but was acquitted a year later. The case also led to a legal dispute with the accounting firm Ernst & Young.
In 2013, the court found that Destia was aware of and approved a cartel involving eight road construction companies that artificially raised the prices of asphalting work. They were ordered to pay a group of Finnish municipalities damages of almost 40 million euros, which was the largest financial solution in Finnish history.
Quelle: Die nordische Seite