Oomi Solar’s growth strategy sharpened with VALOR’s support 

VALOR Partners supported Oomi Solar in developing its corporate solar power market solution, evaluating organizational options, and facilitating incorporation.  

In recent years, solar energy has developed significantly. Solar panels with improved efficiency are also suitable for conditions prevalent in the northern regions of Finland.  

In the future, solar power is expected to grow as part of Finland’s electricity production. This is influenced by positive experiences with the economic viability and ease of use.  

Oomi Solar, which commenced operations at the beginning of 2024, offers comprehensive planning and installation of solar power projects for corporate clients throughout Finland. The company focuses on delivering solar power systems for real estate properties, ground-mounted parks, and industrial-scale solar farms.  

From consumer market to corporate clients 

Oomi Energia, operating in the same group, has been delivering solar panel solutions to consumers for ten years. The company has gained extensive experience in solar power, the lifecycle of panels, and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) operations. 

In spring 2023, Oomi and VALOR started joint discussions on how to harness the market leader’s core expertise most effectively to serve businesses and communities in their transition to renewable energy.  

“We have collaborated with VALOR before, and knew they had the expertise we needed for this project,” says Oomi Solar’s Managing Director Olli Tuomivaara.  

Based on data collection, analyses, and various studies, it was decided to separate the corporate services into a distinct company, while maintaining the same ownership base. Subsequently, the focus shifted to facilitating incorporation and refining Oomi Solar’s chosen growth strategy. In the carve-out process, VALOR also served as financial advisor.  

“Without VALOR’s support and encouragement, achieving our goals within this timeframe would not have been possible. When initiating such a project besides your daily work, extra hands are needed,” states Tuomivaara. 

He adds that gaining external perspectives on issues that the company had already started considering brought special added value. New insights and angles on thoughts have emerged through the challenges and solutions proposed by VALOR. 

Tuomivaara appreciates that VALOR participates in work across the board and takes a hands-on approach, as this speeds up the process. An open dialogue is also important to him. Many issues can be resolved over a phone call, without the need to schedule a meeting every time.  

“For instance, we went cycling with VALOR’s consultant Antti Ihalainen. Insights and relevant ideas can arise anywhere, since mental work is not strictly bound by time and place,” notes Tuomivaara.  

The best ideas can sometimes be born outside the office. Photo Oomi Solar Oy. 

Strong expertise based on long experience  

As a leading solar power supplier, Oomi Solar seeks a significant market share also in the real estate and corporate sector. According to Tuomivaara, there are no other players in the market with comparable experience or as many references. Additionally, their ownership base is stable, and they offer long warranties.  

“Our goal is to build the best solar power solutions efficiently, optimizing both technical-economic features and lifecycle. These aspects go hand in hand,” emphasizes Tuomivaara.  

Solar energy has been extensively researched and recognized for its significant impact on combating global climate change. At the same time, it ensures reasonably priced electricity for consumers and companies.  

Kalle Ahlstedt, VALOR partner, Energy, notes the additional importance of solar power from a self-sufficiency perspective. The greater our electricity production in Finland, the better equipped we are to withstand situations where the external environment deviates from its usual pattern. It also supports industries that depend on carbon-neutral electricity.  

“While solar energy is not a year-round solution in Finland, it complements and diversifies our electricity production palette well,” Ahlstedt highlights. 

Text Catarina Stewen  

Strong first year for telecom JV in Eastern Finland – VALOR served as financial advisor 

The joint venture established by Finnish telecom operator BLC Telecom and the infrastructure fund OP-Suomi Infra in the fall of 2022 is rapidly expanding the fibre optic network in Eastern Finland. VALOR served as the investor’s financial advisor in the JV transaction and assisted in creating the business model.  

Fibre optics, with its reliability and speed, has become the preferred choice for an increasing number of consumers in meeting their ever-growing telecommunication needs. 

Responding to this demand in Eastern Finland, a joint venture was established in 2022, incorporating the Finnish cooperative Savonlinnan BLC-Osuuskunta’s existing fibre optic network and telecom towers, along with the construction of new ones. Co-owners are BLC and the infrastructure investment fund OP-Suomi Infra, providing resources for significant investments. 

Strong expertise in telecom and acquisitions  

VALOR Partners was selected as OP-Suomi Infra’s financial advisor for the process to establish the joint venture and to create the business plan.  

Through the company’s extensive experience in telecommunication infrastructure mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, as well as strategic and operational consulting within the industry, VALOR brought valuable expertise to the development of the business model and key terms under which the joint venture would operate.  

“VALOR had a clear vision of the key questions and the necessary actions to achieve a well-functioning arrangement,” explains Tuomo Urrila, member of OP-Suomi Infra investment team. 

“Our two-way cooperation with both BLC and VALOR was excellent. With VALOR facilitating the process, we quickly found a mutual understanding of how we wanted to proceed with the project,” Urrila adds. 

According to Hannu Väänänen, managing director for Savonlinnan BLC-Osuuskunta, the telecom industry is highly regulated with unique features of which VALOR brought its deep expertise to the project, while also acting as a balancing partner, both reinforcing existing insights and providing new information. 

Decision-making model clarified tasks  

The process proceeded step by step. First, a joint vision for the company was set , and a consensus was reached on the value of the existing infrastructure.  

“In comparison to a typical transaction, VALOR’s role was broader, as they assisted both parties in grasping the separable and sellable entity at a more detailed level. They performed well in all tasks,” Urrila says. 

The next, even more crucial step was to build a future financial operating model that would incentivize both parties. This model was developed gradually over the course of the process.  

“VALOR’s specialized expertise was strongly evident in this, and highly convincing. Creating the financial operating model was like crafting a work of art,” Väänänen says.  

After completing the JV transaction, the decision-making model developed during the process has proven to be an excellent tool. It has provided a solid foundation for business operations and investment decisions. VALOR’s work was also useful when preparing the business plan.  

“The significant effort put into anticipating future investments has been fruitful and clarified our work. The financial operating model has been operationally successful, and shared values have facilitated collaboration,” Urrila highlights.  

According to Urrila, the process of completing a JV transaction with the support of VALOR was a positive experience. 

Picture: BLC

Successful first year 

The first year has started off beautifully. The JV partners came together seamlessly during the process, and open communication has continued. New network projects were already in preparation before the deal was completed, so the new company got off to a flying start. 

“Production has increased sevenfold in the past year, and the organisation keeps growing; it’s a significant leap for us,” emphasizes a pleased Väänänen.  

However, competition in the industry is fierce, and foreign investors have also entered the market, including Eastern Finland.  

“BLC is a genuinely Finnish operator with a 130-year history and no foreign background, which makes our brand strong,” Väänänen highlights. “It is more comfortable for consumers to purchase services from a reliable domestic supplier who delivers on promises and will certainly still be in the market in the future.” 

A societally significant project 

VALOR partner Jonas Seemer, responsible for investment banking operations, highlights that the established joint venture between BLC and OP-Suomi Infra was an unconventional project, in which a societally significant and unique regional joint venture was created.  

“The entirety was not a separate business previously; it was created through a carve-out from BLC,” adds project manager Valtteri Itäranta. “Our task was to ensure the creation of a new company beneficial to all parties with a clear business model.”  

“Due to the increasing importance of the fibre optic network, this was a valuable project for the Savo region in Finland, made possible through the efforts of a local operator, enabling reliable access to a fibre network for every resident,” emphasizes Antti Halonen, VALOR partner responsible for ICT-customers. ”We were delighted to participate in this domestic project, where improved infrastructure is being built for the people of Eastern Finland.” 

Text: Catarina Stewen
Pictures: BLC, City of Savonlinna

VALOR’s client satisfaction survey 2023: High marks across the board, with expertise and trust-based cooperation seen as the cornerstones of VALOR’s value to clients

VALOR commissioned a client satisfaction survey this fall, and the results are excellent. 

Respondents were asked, among other things, what they think of VALOR as a partner. In particular, VALOR was seen as a competent, trustworthy and knowledgeable partner. These characteristics were also the main reasons why respondents chose VALOR as their partner.

VALOR served as the sole financial advisor to Alva-yhtiöt Oy in the divestment of the district heating assets and operations in Viitasaari

VALOR served as the sole financial advisor to Alva-yhtiöt Oy in the divestment of the district heating network in the Central Finnish city of Viitasaari, with an annual total heat output of c. 50 GWh, as well as two smaller separate heat plants in Laukaa.

Alva is focusing its development efforts within district heating to its main grid in the City of Jyväskylä, and as such, made the strategic decision to divest the separate Viitasaari network to a player looking to solely direct its attention and efforts into the development of the Viitasaari network to the benefit of all local stakeholders.

VALOR provided us with valuable support in the process of divesting the district heating business in Viitasaari. VALOR acted as a corporate finance partner and provided us with the process management up to the signing of the deal. Our goals of the transaction were well achieved through professional and yet pragmatic advice throughout the process”, says Tiina Mikkola, Vice President of Business Development at Alva

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the transaction, and I want to thank the Alva team for the trust they placed in us in supporting them execute the strategic decision to divest the Viitasaari district heating asset and operations. This transaction is also a testament to the fact that in spite of a challenging macro environment and financing market, there is still ample interest for best-of-breed infrastructure assets like Viitasaari. Best of luck to Nevel in the next development phase of the asset”, says Jonas Seemer, Partner and Head of Investment Banking at VALOR. 

Alva-yhtiöt is a utility owned by the City of Jyväskylä providing electricity-, water-, and district heating services to its residential- and business customers in the Jyväskylä region. Alva promotes sustainable and environmentally friendly energy production and is at the forefront of the energy transformation.

Please contact Jonas Seemer, Partner and Head of Investment Banking, Raine Vammelvirta, Partner, Energy, or Akseli Pallonen, Associate, for more information. 

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VALOR served as the exclusive debt advisor to Conapto AB and Marguerite to enable the growth of Conapto 

VALOR served as the exclusive debt advisor to Conapto AB and Marguerite in securing a SEK 400m debt financing to further enable the growth of Conapto by establishing a new 20 MW data center in Southern Stockholm. 

The expansion further strengthens Conapto’s ability to offer sustainable and secure data center colocation services in Stockholm. Excess heat from the facility will be recovered and utilized by Stockholm Exergi’s district heating network. 

VALOR was recommended to us because of their recent experience from securing a similar financing. We were impressed by VALOR’s ability to comprehensively identify and assess various options and secure the required financing at the targeted terms. We enjoyed working with the VALOR team throughout the process. We can warmly recommend VALOR as debt advisor in similar infrastructure financings” says Håkan Björklund, CEO at Conapto.

“Conapto is a tremendous company and a trailblazer on the Nordic colocation data center market. It was a pleasure to support the company and Marguerite in securing this important financing package, in spite of challenging market conditions, which is also a testament to the fact that there are still good financing solutions available for high-quality assets. We look forward to following the continued growth and success of the company” says Jonas Seemer, Partner and Head of Investment Banking at VALOR. 

Conapto is a data center operator founded in 2018 and acquired in 2021 by Marguerite, a leading infrastructure investor in Europe.  

Please contact Jonas Seemer, Partner and Head of Investment Banking, for more information. 

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VALOR acted as a financial advisor to Berner Oy in the acquisition of Apetit’s Finnish grain trading business

VALOR Partners acted as a financial advisor to the buyer in an asset deal where Berner Oy acquires the Finnish grain trading business from Apetit Group’s subsidiary Avena Nordic Grain.

Berner and Avena Nordic Grain have been cooperating since 2018 operating a shared field organization. This acquisition further strengthens the operations and the role of Berner as a major partner for the Finnish agriculture sector.

Apetit Group is a stock listed company focusing on food industry. Berner is a Finnish family company with a versatile business portfolio.

Please contact Henrikki Palva, Managing Partner, for more information.

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VALOR acted as a financial advisor to Haminan Energia in the sale of its fiber network business to Täyskuitu

VALOR acted as financial advisor to the seller in an asset deal where Haminan Energia sold its fiber network business Haminetti to Täyskuitu. This brings a player capable of significant investments to the Hamina region and releases Haminan Energia’s resources to developing its energy businesses. The deal is part of the ICT sector’s rapid development in which the role of fiber networks as part of telecom infrastructure increases.

Haminan Energia is wholly owned by the City of Hamina. It operates in diverse areas of the energy sector. The company is a forerunner of renewable energy and energy gases. It invests particularly in wind power, bioenergy and developing the LNG market.

Täyskuitu is a fiber network company. It is owned by Finnish teleoperator Cinia and Netherlands-based international infrastructure investor DIF Capital Partners. The owners plan to significantly invest in Finnish fiber networks.

Please contact Antti Halonen, Partner, for more information.

Read more: https://haminanenergia.fi/tayskuitu-ostaa-haminan-energian-valokuituverkkoliiketoiminnan/

VALOR advised Pori Energia on the sale of their power network construction unit to Oy Ravera Ab

Pori Energia sells its power network construction unit to Oy Ravera Ab, fully owned by Elvera Oy. VALOR Partners acted as the financial advisor to Pori Energia.

Pori Energia provides energy, district heating and cooling, maintenance, contracting and wind power services. Pori Energia is fully owned by the city of Pori, the turnover of its power network construction unit is 5.4 M€, and the company employs 32 people.

Elvera Oy provides network and infrastructure construction services. The company builds and manages heating, natural gas, water, wastewater, and cable networks to energy utilities. Elvera Oy’s turnover is 87 M€, it employs 360 people, and its headquarters is located in Mikkeli.

Please contact Aappo Kontu, Senior Advisor, for more information.

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VALOR researched development opportunities for electricity network service industry value chain and applicability of platform economy for Finnish Energy

Finnish Energy (ET) is a branch organization for the energy sector’s industrial and labor market policy. It represents companies that produce, procure, distribute, and sell electricity, gas, district heat and district cooling, and related services.

VALOR’s research was conducted as part of the Electricity Research Pool established for the development of research in electrical power engineering, electricity transmission and distribution, and the related service production, and other research serving the energy industry.

The survey was conducted through desk studies and comprehensive interviews with the value chain participants (Distribution System Operators (DSO), construction and engineering companies, retailers, the authorities, and some other interest groups). A total of 33 interviews and 260 documented remarks was implemented.

The main VALOR research findings were as follows:

  • Many and various business models are in use in this value chain. These were analyzed.
  • Knowledge of the total value chain is very limited, and the participants are unaware of how the business value is developing in the chain.
  • Most of the economic value is collected by DSOs. The other value chain participants collect little.
  • The regulation model mostly defines earnings for value chain participants – the model must be updated soon.
  • Construction companies must reinvent and develop their business models to differentiate their services from those of their competitors—service development investments are currently marginal.
  • Multiple development opportunities related to the electricity network construction value chain were identified.
  • All the highlighted development opportunities offer potential for efficiency improvement and are thus relevant for the industry.

Interest in platform business models has grown over the last three years, and the platform economy is perceived to have considerable potential in electricity grid services. However, there is a limited number of concrete ideas for the implementation, and no significant platform economy projects are under development. The study identified several application areas where the platform economy model makes it possible to create value.

Please contact Aappo Kontu, Senior Advisor, for more information.

You can find the full research paper here.

VALOR scrutinized opportunities in renewable energy and bioindustry in relation to Taaleri’s impact-driven strategy revision

Taaleri is a Finnish financial services company, whose parent company, Taaleri Plc, is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki main market. At the end of 2020, Taaleri had assets under management totaling EUR 7.6 billion and over 6,000 wealth management customers.

In March 2021, Taaleri announced its revised strategy. In 2021-2023, Taaleri’s growth is driven by private equity funds focusing on renewable energy and other alternative investments. Taaleri’s vision is to be a Nordic forerunner in alternative investments focusing on sustainability.

VALOR was privileged to contribute to the strategy process, especially scrutinizing investment opportunities in renewable energy and bioindustry in the coming years. The scope included multiple extremely interesting and timely topics, such as biorefineries and hydrogen. The team focused on Europe and North America.

Please contact Henrikki Palva, Managing Partner for more information.

Read more:
https://www.taaleri.com/en/news/taaleri-revises-its-strategy-and-updates-its-long-term-financial-targets-growth-driven-private-equity-funds-focusing-renewable-e
https://www.taaleri.com/application/files/6016/1648/8317/TAALERI_CMD_2021.pdf