Acquisition funds should have been cheated for the purchase of billions of ice cream machines



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– So far I do not know if I paid such a large sum of insurance before in our industry here in the Nordic countries, says partner Thomas Broe-Andersen in the Norwegian acquisition fund FSN Capital Partners.

FSN Capital receives EUR 50 million (NOK 480 million) because, according to the insurers' assessment, they were cheated by a Swedish acquisition fund.

Former Petroleum Fund chief, Knut N. Kjær, is a partner and chairman of FSN Capital.

Ice cream machines

In January 2018, FSN Capital acquired the Danish company Gram Equipment. The purchase price should have been just over 1 billion Norwegian kronor. Gram is a leading global supplier of production equipment for ice cream factories.

The seller was the Swedish acquisition fund Procuritas. There, the Norwegian state invested money through its Argentine subsidiary.

In Fundo Procuritas, which counted the sale, Argentum has a 27% stake. This corresponds to about NOK 350 million.

As in all these acquisitions, Gram was carefully examined by FSN Capital prior to purchase. The information was the Procuratas seller who was responsible.

The purchase was also insured by a group of insurers.

State money should be used as capital in Norwegian companies. Instead, Argentum invested half overseas.

With NOK 10,000 Billion Floating

Bought cats in the bag

Therefore, it was discovered that FSN Capital did not receive what they paid. They thought they bought a profitable company but quickly turned out not to vote.

In June last year, FSN Capital filed lawsuits against insurers.

Since last summer, the insurance companies have carefully examined the trade. The bottom line is that we received false and misleading information prior to the purchase of Gram, says Broe-Andersen.

The insured amount of 50 million euros is the maximum amount that FSN Capital can receive after the insurance.

Attorneys respond

Procuraitas has sent a statement from managing partner Thomas Therén through the Danish communications agency Kristiansen + Partners:

"Procurtas was in no way involved in the treatment of the insurance company in the case. Nor were we asked for by the insurance company.

Therefore, we have no attitude or opinion about the insurance company's agreement on compensation to FSN, but we distance ourselves greatly from FSN's accusations against Procuritas. In our opinion, they are completely unfounded. We are not responsible for the possible challenges of the current owner with the Gram ».

The current owner is FSN Capital.

Buying and selling companies

Both FSN Capital and Procuritas are acquisition funds that buy companies, develop and after a few years sell them even more.

Argentum is in the same industry but has a greater distance from acquired companies. Instead of buying companies, Argentum buys large and small shares in funds that later buy companies.

Argentum does not decide which companies the funds should buy. As Aftenposten understands, it is therefore excluded that Argentum has been actively involved in the sale of Gram to FSN Capital.

The state has created Argentum to strengthen the Norwegian market for the purchase, development and sale of companies.

"If a buyer can not trust a seller to present true information, the whole market will collapse," says Broe-Andersen.

Argentum also invested money in the FSN Capital Fund and is therefore on both sides of the table in the ongoing battle.

In the courtroom

Gram management was fired in the spring of 2018. FSN Capital is now taking the case to court.

"The insurance does not cover all our loss. We filed complaints against Procuritas, the former Gram management and Gram's board members, says Broe-Andersen.

Partners at Procuritas were heavily involved in Gram's board, which the Swedish acquisition fund had held since 2010.

Argentum responds

Aftenposten asked Argentum several questions about e-mail. Argentum sent this reply:

"As a fund investor, we are not involved in transactions between the funds and any disputes that may arise are a matter between the two parties and as an investor in both funds, it is only natural that we await the outcome of the next trial."

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