In 2016, Livonia Partners, one of the leading private equity funds in the Baltics, made their first acquisition of the Estonian company Ha Serv, a strong candidate for international expansion. At that time, it was already a noticeable player in the sauna and thermally modified wood segment in Europe, with around 200 full-time employees and a turnover of EUR 20M.
Following the acquisition, we helped Livonia Partners and Ha Serv in assessing the global sauna and thermally modified wood markets.
The core of the project involved conducting extensive research because no credible data was available for these niche segments. Our team had to collect data from scratch, segment products and distribution, and conduct over 50 expert interviews worldwide to understand the market and its specifics. By using multiple approaches to gather and validate market statistics (such as data from manufacturers, distributors, relevant associations, and experts), our team provided a comprehensive analysis of the market and identified the most attractive segments in terms of market size, growth, and profitability.
In line with Livonia Partners’ strategy to strengthen its global leadership in 2017, it acquired Suomen Lämpöpuu, a Finnish company focused on thermally modified wood and painted products. This acquisition complemented Ha Serv’s product line, leading to the merger of both companies. We assisted Ha Serv and Suomen Lämpöpuu in reevaluating their sales processes, defining synergies, and creating a unified sales team and procedures to maximize upsell potential and drive sales in new segments.
In 2018, Livonia Partners executed another merger, this time with Thermory, as part of its strategy to create a global leader in sauna and thermally modified wood. Our team facilitated the post-merger integration process and led strategic synergy planning for Ha Serv and Thermory. Given the substantial size of both companies (around EUR 65M in turnover jointly and around 500 employees), the post-merger planning was rather sophisticated and required significant involvement from both management teams, as well as Livonia Partners management. The synergy planning was separated into four key workgroups: sales, procurement, production, and administration. Once strategic synergies were identified and a one-year detailed post-merger integration plan was formed, it was presented by workgroup leaders and approved by top management and shareholders. After the strategy was accepted by the board, We helped the joint company in setting up the PMO process for continuous monitoring of the implementation of initiatives.
Being a challenger and believing in the idea of building a global company by using detailed analytics and strategic planning has led our client to become the global leader in sauna and thermally modified wood. The joint company, operating under the brand name Thermory, now boasts a turnover of more than EUR 100M and employs more than 700 people. Kaido Veske, Founding Partner at Livonia Partners, summed it up perfectly: “We started with one single facility in Tartu and ended with 8 facilities, 2 warehouses, and 2 sawmills across the globe.”
Also use natural refrigerant systems with zero greenhouse gas emissions and do other cool things that can not only improve our lives but save this planet too.