Finnish private equity firm Sentica Partners to become VMP Group’s majority shareholder
Acquisitions, a diverse service offering and the demand for temporary personnel have driven VMP Group to grow faster than the market in recent years. Now, the company is aiming to boost its effective strategy with the help of a new partner.
VMP Group is strengthening its ownership base: a fund managed by Sentica Partners is purchasing a majority stake in the company. The founding family, the Savolainens, and the present management will retain a significant stake in the company.
According to VMP Group’s Managing Director, Heimo Hakkarainen, the strong growth of the sector will continue, but the sector will become more complex and difficult to forecast. New innovations must be brought to market more quickly than before.
“VMP Group’s profitability has improved every year, demonstrating that we have done things right. In the future, we will have an even more customer-oriented and flexible approach. Sentica will bring expertise to this process, along with financial room for manoeuvre. Their extensive experience in franchising and in the health care business make them a natural partner for us,” Hakkarainen says.
Paul Savolainen, representing the family of owners, is satisfied with the step that the company is taking as it turns 30 next year. According to Savolainen, now was the right time to find a partner to expand the ownership base of VMP Group. The HR service sector is growing rapidly, and working life as a whole is in a state of constant change. The sector is expanding thanks to growth in the use of temporary personnel, light entrepreneurship, the platform economy, digitalisation and new working habits.
“Sentica will provide us with new expertise. This will make VMP Group more interesting in the eyes of customers. We aim to become the leading player in the sector and the most desirable partner,” Savolainen says.
Sentica Partners is best known as a responsible owner and developer of small and medium-sized Finnish companies. It has been involved in companies such as Kotipizza and Pihlajalinna. Last year, Sentica’s target companies employed more than 3,000 personnel and had total revenues in excess of EUR 700 million.
Sentica’s Investment Director Liisa Harjula sees plenty of opportunities in VMP Group. The company has undergone a successful renewal in recent years.
“VMP’s brand is very strong in the HR services sector. Today, companies such as Personnel, Romana and Eezy are also involved, offering a wide range of services for working life, including personnel assessments, recruitment, headhunting, organisational development, and services for light entrepreneurship and self employment. We aim to help both employers and employees to succeed in the changing world of work,” Harjula says.
The arrangement is subject to approval by the competition authority.
Last year, VMP Group had revenues of EUR 150 million, with growth of 16 per cent since 2015. VMP Group is a Finnish family company founded in Turku in 1988. Last year, it employed 18,000 people. The Group includes VMP Varamiespalvelu, Romana Management, Alina, Eezy, Personnel and Sijaishaltija.
Heimo Hakkarainen, Managing Director, VMP Group, +358 40 307 5001
Liisa Harjula, Investment Director, Sentica Partners, +358 40 506 2295