Ferd invests in Simployer, the Nordic region’s leading company in HR
“Our owners wanted to bring in a new partner that would be able to give the business a strong foundation for its continuing development and expansion. We had several suitors interested but we also looked for investors ourselves, and it was then we noticed Ferd”, comments Thorfinn Hansen, the CEO of Simployer, in an interview with Ferd Magazine. Thorfinn, who has been the CEO of Simployer for the last 15 years, emphasises Ferd’s particularly good reputation, its documented willingness and ability to take a long-term approach, its wide-ranging expertise and its strong capital base as the characteristics the company was looking for in a new owner.
Potential for significant growth
“At Ferd, we have been following companies that manage human capital. We see this area as having the potential to grow significantly in the years ahead”, comments Danjal Haaland Danjalsson, Investment Professional at Ferd Capital. Danjal Haaland Danjalsson, along with his colleagues Runar Kvåle and Nicolay Mylén, make up the team that managed Ferd’s investment in Simployer and that will monitor its involvement going forward.
In parallel with looking for investment opportunities in HR, Ferd Capital has worked systematically on strengthening its investment in information technology, which is strategically important across all sectors and a good fit with Ferd’s objective of taking a long-term approach within its portfolio of investments. In Simployer, the Ferd team found a company that stands out in both these areas: a clear leader in Norway, a strong presence in Sweden, significant specialist expertise in HR – and an advanced proprietary technology platform.
Ferd now owns around 70% of the company’s share capital, with Bjørn Petter Garder, the son of the founder and a key individual at the company, remaining a minority shareholder. Key individuals in the management team will also continue to have shareholdings.
“We recognise that Bjørn Petter has meant a lot to the company and are pleased that Simployer will continue to benefit from his expertise and experience. During the negotiation period, we got to know the entire management team and many of the company’s employees - and were very impressed with both their expertise and their ability to be innovative and to take a long-term approach”, comments Runar Kvåle. Runar emphasises that Ferd’s ownership interest in Simployer represents a significant investment for Ferd and that he is very confident that it will generate a good return over time.
Simployer is an extraordinary entrepreneurial success. The company was founded in 1985 by Bjørn Garder and has since grown in a way that demonstrates it hit upon a need in the market. From offering a simple ring binder with information on rules and other important personnel management topics with a subscription scheme for updates, the company has developed into an advanced cloud-based knowledge and technology business with operations in Norway and Sweden. It also has a wholly owned subsidiary in Poland that develops its software and technology platform.
Read the full article in Ferd Magazine (only available in Norwegian)