Phonero

Phonero is a privately owned MVNO providing telecommunication services to Norwegian small and medium business customers. Phonero has its headquarters in Kristiansand with regional offices in Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim.

With a strong salesforce and excellent customer support, the company has achieved steady high growth, becoming a sizable Norwegian telecommunication player.

From being a startup company in 2008, the company has grown organically and through the acquisition of Ventelo in 2014 to become a central virtual operator in the Norwegian business market with revenue exceeding 1 billion NOK and with more than 250 000 active users. The acquisition of Ventelo have strengthened the organization and improved the customer diversification due to Ventelo’s large share of government clients.

On November 9, 2015, Kistefos announced a sale of the majority shareholding in Phonero to Norvestor VI L.P a fund managed by the private equity company Norvestor.

Kistefos’ consideration for its ownership share was MNOK 758, which constitute a booked profit of approximately MNOK 680 and an IRR of more than 65%.

Kistefos will reinvest MNOK 152 and own 20,13% of the shares in Phonero after the transaction.

yA Holding ASA

yA Holding ASA was founded in 2006 and provides consumer finance services in the Norwegian market 

yA Bank AS, the primary subsidiary of yA Holding ASA, is an online bank with licenses issued by Norwegian authorities and is subject to Norwegian supervision. yA Bank provides non-secured consumer loans, credit cards and loan insurance products. At the end of the third quarter of 2015, yA Bank had more than 120 00 clients and outstanding loans to customers totalled NOK 3.5 bn.

Kistefos initially invested in yA Holding in 2011, acquiring an ownership stake of 24%. In 2014, Kistefos increased its ownership to just below 30%. In 2015, the two wholly-owned subsidiaries, yA Bank AS and MetaTech AS, were sold to the Nordic Capital backed Resurs Bank AB. The transaction closed in October 2015 and the proceeds were distributed to the shareholders.

Kistefos was during the ownership period an active owner through representation on the board of directors. The investment yielded a very strong return for Kistefos

DIGITALE MEDIER 1881 AS

Digitale Medier is the extension of Opplysningen 1881’s acquisition of Infomediahuset in 2005 and subsequent Internet ventures. 

The company sells directory listings and banner advertising on www.1881.no. The spin off from Opplysningen 1881 ultimo 2010 was part of the refinement of the various business areas in the Opplysningen group.

Digitale Medier has been a successful turn-around case for Kistefos. Before the spin off from Opplysningen 1881, the unit had been loss-making every year since the inception in 2005, but Digitale Medier 1881 reached profitability in 2011 – its first year as a stand alone company.
Mid 2013 the company was sold to Amedia AS, yielding a very strong return for Kistefos.

VIKING BARGE DA

Viking Barge was established in Kristiansand in 1995, focusing on owning and operating large North Sea barges.

Kistefos gradually increased its ownership in Viking Barge DA and gained essentially full ownership from 2003. A fleet of eight large North Sea barges, each of approximately 10,000 DWT, was delivered from the yard in the period 1995-1999.
 
The fleet, constituting of seven barges from mid-2004, operated in the offshore markets for construction, windmill projects and decommissioning.
 
Late 2012, the fleet was sold to Ugland Shipping AS, yielding a strong return on investment for Kistefos.

PARADIAL

Paradial was founded in 2001 by a group of former Ericsson employees and Kistefos first invested in the company in 2006.

Paradial’s technology addresses one of the most significant barriers to the widespread adoption of Internet-based video communication: challenges encountered when calling across protected networks. Traversing any firewall while maintaining a high level of security, the Paradial technology enables seamless video calling between people inside the walls of an enterprise and those inside other enterprises, in remote offices or telecommuting.

Paradial was acquired by Logitech in 2010 which will integrate Paradial’s technology into its product portfolio. Kistefos was the main shareholder and the central player for the development of the company from the first investment in 2006 until the Logitech takeover.

GLOBAL IP SOLUTIONS (GIPS)

Global IP Sound AB (GIPS), was established in 1999 in Stockholm, Sweden, with Kistefos as the main shareholder.

GIPS developed software solutions that enabled the use, and improved the quality, of voice, telephony and multi-media via the Internet. The company had offices in San Francisco and Stockholm, as well as smaller sales offices in Boston, Hong Kong and Seoul and held a leading position in its niche.
 
The company was listed on Oslo Stock Exchange from mid-2008 until the Google acquisition in June 2010.Google bought GIPS for $68.2 million and Kistefos held 37 % at the time of the acquisition. Kistefos was the main shareholder and the central player for the development of the company from the first investment until the Google take over.
 
In June 2011, Google released WebRTC, a proposed standard for pluginless peer-to-peer audiovisual communication between browsers, based on GIPS technology.

SECURINET AS

SecuriNet AS is a vendor of monitored alarm services through its own nationwide ALTEL communications network. The ALTEL network has direct connectivity with all national emergency centres and SecuriNet runs the management of the network on a 24/7 basis. A range of complementary products, both software and communication services, is also provided by the company.

Kistefos purchased SecuriNet AS from Telenor Venture III AS in July 2004 with a clear value creation plan lined-out: While sales grew by only 4% in 2004 to NOK116.4m in 2004, the profitability was increased substantially. Through improved operational efficiency and cost reductions EBIT was raised by 61% in 2004, from NOK14.0m in 2003 to NOK22.5m in 2004.

In September 2005 SecuriNet AS was sold to the British private equity fund GMT Communications Partners Ltd. The investment in SecuriNet AS yielded an internal rate of return (IRR) of approximately 170% for Kistefos in just over 13 months.

BANKIA BANK ASA

Bankia Bank was established in 2001 and was the first financial institution in Norway to offer its customers complete free-of-charge credit cards.

The company established efficient operations and has posted a profit since June 2003. The figure of 100,000 customers was passed in the fourth quarter 2004. Santander Consumer Finance SA aquired Bankia Bank ASA in April 2005.

CATCH COMMUNICATIONS ASA

Catch Communications ASA was the first operative telephone operator in Norway, besides Telenor ASA, that could offer broadband services on the telephone network’s existing copper cable network with the application of DSL technology.

KVC became the leading investor in Catch in 2000 as the company had a turnover of NOK 1 million. The company developed rapidly to become one of Norway’s leading suppliers of data communications systems based on broadband technology. The company earned an award from the consulting and auditing firm Deloitte as the fastest growing technology company in Europe over a five-year period with sales growth of 78000% from 2000 to 2004, being the first Norwegian company ever to top the “Fast 500 Europe” list.

Catch became listed on the stock exchange in the spring of 2004, and KVC sold its shares in the Company to Gandahara Master Fund Ltd in September 2005. The contract was signed on the condition that all of the shareholders would receive the same offer as KVC. The sale of shares to Gandahara Master Fund Ltd led to Ventelo Norge AS taking over all shares in Catch Communications ASA in December 2005.

KELKOO SA

Kelkoo is an intermediary between web shoppers and online merchants with a European presence. KVC originally invested in the Norwegian company Zoomit.com ASA in 1999, which then merged with the European company Kelkoo in the autumn 2000.

KVC was a central player both in Zoomit’s strategic development in advance of the merger, during the merger process and in Kelkoo’s later operational and strategic development.

In April 2004, Kelkoo was sold to Yahoo Inc. for EUR 475 million. The sale of Kelkoo to Yahoo received the award for “Venture Capital Deal of the Year” at the European Private Equity Awards in Paris in November 2004.