NEBULA – From early venture 2007 to trade sale exit in 2017
Rite invested in Nebula in year 2007 when the company was in its early growth stage and had a turnover of 6 MEUR. At that time, web and server hosting was still considered an unattractive market due to low barriers to entry and price pressure.
At Rite, we were impressed by Nebula’s high degree of operational excellence, the level of automation in all parts of the business, the scalability of the recurring-revenue business model, and the growth potential of the underlying market. The entrepreneurs had built a small but well-run business. They wanted a partner that could support them in taking the company to the next level. They also wanted to free up some liquidity by selling some of their shares.
To continue growing the company, Rite worked closely with the entrepreneurs and management to support and provide both strategic and operational advice. In 2010, when two of the three founders felt it was time to move forward in their careers, Rite bought their shares and increased its ownership to 80% of the company. In 2013, the Swedish, stock exchange listed investment firm, Ratos, acquired the majority of Nebula while Rite remained as an active minority owner and continued to support the company, implementing a number of value-generating strategic initiatives.
In 2017, the Swedish, stock exchange listed telephone company and mobile network operator, Telia Company, acquired all the shares in Nebula for MEUR 165 (enterprise value). Nebula had developed to a leading ICT service company in Finland with more than MEUR 35 in turnover with very good profitability and was still growing fast at a CAGR of over 20%. The company had made 18 smaller acquisitions, however the majority of the growth from 2007 had been organic.