Palamon Capital Partners sells Espresso House

Swedish coffee chain moves into the hands of Norwegian private equity.

Palamon Capital Partners has agreed the sale of Swedish coffee bar chain Espresso House to Herkules Private Equity III, a Norwegian private equity fund.

The transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed, is Palamon’s eighth realisation from its 2006 fund, Palamon European Equity II, which reportedly has produced realised returns of 2.6 times on invested capital on fully exited companies.

In 2005, Palamon identified a gap in the Nordic markets for a branded coffee bar offering and approached the founders of Espresso House about purchasing a majority interest and initiating a high-growth strategy. 

Beginning with 22 outlets in the south of Sweden in 2006, Espresso House purchased a 15 store chain in Stockholm to create a national brand with 37 outlets.

From that base, the company embarked on an organic expansion plan which has taken it to 120 outlets across Sweden, making it the largest chain of wholly-owned branded coffee bars in the Nordic region. 

Today, the company employs approximately 900 staff and serves more than 30,000 customers daily. During Palamon’s ownership, revenues increased by 30 per cent per annum to SEK 560 million with EBITDA rising more than ten times.

Dan Mytnik, partner at Palamon, comments, ‘We could not be happier with the success of Espresso House.  From small beginnings, we have enjoyed partnering the company’s superb management team in developing a growth strategy and executing to create a leading brand with the dominant position in its segment.

‘For us, this investment has returned 3.4x on invested capital, once again demonstrating the power of our thesis-led investment approach.  We wish the company well as it embarks on its next stage of growth.’

Adriano Capoferro, CEO of Espresso House adds, ‘Palamon’s support and strategic insights were significant at the early stages and then throughout the roll-out of our expansion plans.

‘We have greatly appreciated our close collaboration with the Palamon team which has been an essential component in the company’s success.’

Palamon says it invests in high-growth businesses and that its portfolio companies have achieved an average revenue growth of 20 per cent per annum.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.