3i acquires 25% of Finnish mobile operator DNA for €140 million

01 Jun 2007

3i, world leading private equity and venture capital company, announces that it has acquired 25% of the shares of Finnet Oy (to be renamed DNA Oy), a leading Finnish mobile operator for €140 million (3i’s stake will become 13% after the anticipated merger of five local operators and DNA).  The shares have been acquired from 18 local telecom operators in the Finnet Group.

DNA is one of the largest telecom operators in Finland, with 1,070,000 mobile subscribers.  The company’s turnover was €365 million in 2006.  DNA’s mobile operator arm has seen significant growth in recent years and, following the anticipated merger, the fixed line division will control the access network to approx. 25% of Finnish households.

As a well-run and rapidly growing company, DNA is an attractive investment for 3i.  As a partner, 3i will support DNA’s transition into a national, full-service telecommunications group, which will offer mobile, fixed line, broadband and cable TV services following the merger.

”As a leading private equity investor, we can help companies solve complex ownership situations like this one,” says 3i Investment Director Berndt Schalin.  “We are looking forward to actively supporting DNA in its transition to a fully commercial, integrated telecom operator and in its desire to prepare for the capital markets.”

“The main DNA shareholders will continue as owners in the new merged DNA.  3i, as a new owner, shares our view of developing a new, strong and fast-growing Finnish operator,” said Mr. Risto Siivola, DNA Chairman.  Mr. Jan-Erik Frostdahl, DNA CEO, commented: “Having a united group of owners provides a clear opportunity for DNA to continue its development and enables it to achieve its business targets as well as prepare for the capital markets.”  
 
Following the acquisition by 3i of a minority stake in DNA, there will be no impact on the company’s employees or operations.

Citigroup was the financial adviser to 3i on this transaction. 

Notes to editors

About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Venture Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”) and invest across Europe, the United States and Asia. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

About 3i Growth Capital 
3i Growth Capital is the world’s largest growth capital fund investing over €1bn every year in businesses across Europe, Asia and the US.  We provide financial and strategic support to established businesses with the potential for outstanding value growth.  We invest between €10m - €250m to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions, restructure shareholdings, release equity or change the balance of equity to debt.  Once we have invested, we are committed to working in partnership with majority shareholders.

Recent investments include KNEIP, €37m, Luxembourg; Delta Hydrocarbons, €185m, Benelux; UFO Moviez, India, €17m; Electrawinds, Benelux, €30m; Consultim Finance, France, €18m; ACR, Singapore, €150m; Navayuga Engineering, India, €35m; Giraffe, UK, €15m; Sten, Spain, €100m and HTC, Sweden, €11m.  Recent realisations include SeLoger.com, France, €350m; Alimak Hek, Sweden, €238m; Salamander Energy, UK, €307m; CH4 Energy, UK, €224m; Magix, Germany, €207m; Williams Lea, UK, €165m; and Petrofac, UK, €1.1bn.

About Finnet Oy (to be renamed DNA Oy)
DNA provides dynamic mobile communication services with the latest technology. In Finland, its customers include private users, corporations and other organisations. DNA’s mobile communication network incorporates over 1,070,000 subscriptions and its net sales amounted to EUR 365 million in 2006. For further information, please visit our website at www.dnafinland.fi.

For further information please contact:

Kathryn van der Kroft
email. kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3021