The owner of Hansab is selling his life's work: you should look into your passport every now and then
"I'm 66 years old, I have to look into my passport every now and then," said Aigar Urva, up to now the manager and major shareholder of Hansab Group, who is to step down from the day-to-day management of the company.
Photo: Helen Kattai/Hansab
Aigar Urva, who announced the sale of his life's work Hansab Group today, admitted that the plan to bring in an investor had been in making for a while, and in the meantime they had even considered going public.
Baltic private capital fund BaltCap acquires 70 percent of Hansab Group – a security, payment and automatic systems provider in the Baltic States. With the support of the new owner, Aigar Urva hopes to boost the company's growth, among other things, through acquisitions.
Aigar Urva, up to now the CEO and major shareholder of Hansab Group, said that after the transaction, his share would decrease from 85 percent to 25 percent, and the share of the other shareholder, Jaan Tombach, from 15 percent to 5 percent.
It was Urva’s intention to give up his major share in the company as serious investors usually want to get a majority stake. "I do not need to be the most important person there or the main shareholder. To me it is important that the company does well, the employees do well, and the customers are satisfied," he said.
Urva started thinking about the sales when he realized that while Hansab had been growing organically for a long time, an investor with stronger capital and competence would be needed for the company to continue growing.
I do not need to be the most important person there.
According to Urva, they have been looking for investors for Hansab for three years already. "We also looked into going public, but we didn't think it was viable at the moment, as we think it would bring on too much bureaucracy and additional tasks. We want to continue being flexible, like we have always been," he explained.
Urva started looking for an investor more seriously during the last year. At the same time, Hansab also announced a competition to find an investor and analysed a whole range of possible partners.
According to Urva, some potential strategic partners, who are more familiar with Hansab's activities, contacted him, but they wanted to buy only some of several business lines. However, Urva did not want to go down this path, as it would have reduced the volume of the company's services and thus the efficiency. That's why they decided to involve BaltCap as a financial partner.
According to Urva, in the end, our overlapping values made us decide in favour of Baltcap. "We like their policies, how they deliver, and what they have done so far. I hope that our cooperation will be successful," he said.
It’s time for acquisitions
According to Urva, Hansab's new growth strategy is being developed, which includes expansion into new countries.
Urva sees acquisitions as their main strategy for growth. Even before the transaction, Hansab discussed the purchase plans with several companies, but the negotiations were put on hold for the duration of the BaltCap transaction.
"We used to look for companies to buy based on our capital structure, but now, considering BaltCap's financial capacity, we can look at larger and more valuable companies. Taking over companies will certainly be one of our main sources of growth, as other business grows organically, and we have successfully done that," Urva explained.
Hansab is a leading automation solutions and services provider in the Baltic States.
The company's services include security services, package handling and logistics, ATMs, cash transit services, production of personal identification documents, points of sale and cash handling, queue management, parking and automation.
On the international market, the company offers the automated traffic management system Entringo Traffic and the smart parking management system Entringo Parking.
I will take it easier in the future
After selling his majority stake, Urva will step down from the position of CEO and continue participating in the work of the council of Hansab Group. He said that since he had been running the company for 32 years, it was time for him to reduce his workload.
"I am 66 years old, I have to look into my passport every now and then. We have now younger leaders who are good at their job and successful," said Urva and clarified that in the future he would keep himself busy with strategic tasks in the council.
"My ethics do not allow me to do nothing and simply live as a rentier off my proceeds. You have to contribute fully if you decide to be a full owner," he added.
I am 66 years old; I have to look into my passport every now and then.
Hansab Group also includes the subsidiary Hansab AS, whose shareholders are Aigar Urva, Janno Kallikorm and Jaan Tombach. Another subsidiary, Ellore, is divided between Urva and four other smaller shareholders. The third subsidiary Hansab IT Solutions is fully owned by Hansab Group. The Group also has subsidiaries in Latvia, Lithuania and Finland.
Urva said that initially the holdings in the subsidiaries will remain the same. Janno Kallikorm, the current chairman of the Hansab AS Management Board, will also take over the management of Hansab Group.
The current CEO of Hansab Estonia, Janno Kallikorm, will become the CEO of Hansab Group after the transaction has taken effect.
"Obviously, in the future, we will have to look at how we will organize the management in AS, what his contribution in there will be in the future and what his share will be in the future. We agreed that we would finalize all this by the end of the year," urva explained.
Hansab has been growing steadily every year, whereas, last year the company's turnover reached nearly 40 million and the company had over 300 employees.
Kristjan Kalda, partner of BaltCap, said in the announcement that Hansab was a strong and recognized company that had developed a high-quality, efficient service model in the rapidly growing field of automation. "We see several opportunities for further business growth," Kalda said.
The parties will not disclose the value of the transaction. The transaction will be completed in the coming months, once the competition authorities of the Baltic States have approved the transaction.
BaltCap is the largest and most experienced private equity investor in the Baltic States, which specializes in buyout, growth, risk and infrastructure investments. Since 1995, BaltCap has invested in more than 100 companies in various industrial sectors and involved a total of 700+ million euros of capital. BaltCap has a team of more than 40 investment specialists working in offices in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Helsinki and Stockholm.