Next step of NoHo Partners internationalisation strategy – Business expands to Norway


NoHo Partners Plc
Media release 3 April 2019 at 8:01am

NoHo Partners Plc is expanding its restaurant operations to a new market in Norway in line with its strategy. NoHo Partners is forming a joint venture with
local restaurant operator Crea Diem-gruppen, holding 80 per cent ownership of the new company. The new enterprise will acquire the shareholdings of selected Crea Diem and Carpe Diem subsidiaries as well as 70 per cent of the shareholding in the Trobbelskyter company. With this deal including 15 restaurants, NoHo Partners will become a significant operator in Norway’s restaurant market.

The corporate acquisition supports the NoHo Partners 2019–2021 profitable growth strategy and the company’s vision to be the most meaningful restaurant company in Northern Europe.

“While the main focus of our profitable growth strategy is in the profitability improvements of our home market operations and completing the Royal Ravintolat integration, we simultaneously want to start building the foundation for future growth from our international operations. Nordic market is the key platform for us to achieve that growth and Norway with is high purchasing power and nearly double the size of Finnish market in value, makes it very potential market for us”, says NoHo Partners CEO Aku Vikström.

“Our profitability programs proceed on schedule, and now that a highly profitable and strategically fit group of restaurants became available, at an attractive price, with an EV/EBITDA multiplier under five using the actual figures from 2018, we decided to act. In addition, with this deal we get access to local expertise and over a century’s worth of entrepreneurial experience, making the further organic growth of the Norwegian business operations possible for us,” says Vikström. 

Strong foothold on the Norwegian market

The set of restaurants included in the corporate acquisition consists of a total of 15 restaurant units; NoHo Partners will own a majority share in eight of them, and a significant minority share in the other seven. Examples of the restaurants include the legendary Irish pub The Dubliner, the youth favourite Kulturhuset and food restaurants Grisen and Colonel Mustard. The set of restaurants also includes the scalable Camping entertainment restaurant concept, which currently operates in four cities.

Crea Diem-gruppen’s majority owners, Olaf Masterman Loly and Karl-Henning Svendsen, are experienced restaurant and entertainment sector entrepreneurs. They will continue in the operational management of the new enterprise. The main owners of the Trobbelskyter company and pioneers in the field, Runar Eggesvik, Arnt Andersen and Morten Usterud, will continue as partners and in the operational activities of the restaurants.

“We will get a strong growth platform for Norway’s HoReCa market, which is worth approximately EUR 9 billion. The market is fragmented, and this deal will immediately make us a significant operator on the market. The entrepreneur-driven Crea Diem-gruppen owns several successful, well-known and local restaurant brands ranging from neighbourhood restaurants to nightclubs,” says Juha Helminen, Director of International Operations at NoHo Partners. 

Competitive advantage from economies of scale and partner model

In April 2018, NoHo Partners expanded its operations to Denmark. By the end of May 2019, NoHo Partners will own over 20 restaurants in Denmark.

“Within a year, we have doubled the number of our restaurants in Denmark and made strong investments in growth. Our partner model is based on the idea that we purchase local expertise and support it with the economies of scale of a large company and tried-and-tested operating models of operational business management,” says Helminen.

“The corporate acquisition in Norway is quite attractive, and its profitability level meets the strategic financial goals of the Group. With the deal, we will next focus on integrating our international operations and fully completing our development programmes in Denmark. The axioms of the internationalisation strategy are correct; the market consolidation continues, and our competitive advantage in the partner model has been received with interest by some of the most profitable entrepreneurs in the industry,” says Vikström.

NoHo Partners aims to achieve net sales of over MEUR 600 and a profit margin of approximately 7.5 per cent by the end of 2021.

Additional information:
Aku Vikström, CEO, tel. +358 44 011 1989
Juha Helminen, Director of International Operations, tel. +358 40 535 5560

NoHo Partners Plc is a Finnish group established in 1996, specialising in restaurant services and labour hire. The company, which was listed on NASDAQ Helsinki in 2013 and became the first Finnish listed restaurant company, has continued to grow strongly throughout its history. The Group companies include over 200 restaurants in Finland and Denmark. Well-known restaurant concepts of the company include Elite, Savoy, Teatteri, Yes Yes Yes, Stefan’s Steakhouse, Palace, Löyly, Hanko Sushi and Cock’s & Cows. In 2018, NoHo Partners Plc’s net sales was MEUR 323.2 and EBITDA MEUR 28.4. Depending on the season, the Group employs approximately 4,000 people converted into full-time workers. NoHo Partners Plc’s subsidiary Smile Henkilöstöpalvelut Oyj employed approximately 10,000 people during the 2018 financial period.

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