During Norvestor´s ownership from 2012 to 2017, Abax strengthened its market position in car fleet control solutions and expanded from its Nordic base into five new markets. Norvestor worked closely with Abax during its holding period, focusing the strategy, fortifying its management team, improving its governance structure, and enhancing its internal processes. Norvestor supported Abax management in implementing a new growth strategy, product and service expansion, and in entering new international markets. Under Norvestor’s leadership, Abax consolidated its position as a leading regional player while entering Finland, UK, the Netherlands, Poland and China.
As the market leader in corporate car fleet control products and solutions, Abax’s main product was an electronic trip log solution that provided low cost, efficient location monitoring of vehicles, thus enabling customers and their employees to comply with regulatory requirements for the private use of company cars. At the time of Norvestor’s 2012 investment in Abax, the company was a leading Nordic player within the niche trip log market and boasted a large installed customer base generating recurring revenues based on thirty-six months contracts with automatic renewal. During due diligence, Norvestor identified further growth potential within the current market, geographical expansion opportunities and opportunities to broaden the service offering towards its clients.
Challenge and Our Approach
Despite a loyal customer base generating healthy and predictable revenue streams, Abax needed a strategy and financial support to navigate and act upon the significant growth and consolidation opportunities emerging both regionally and internationally. Abax needed a partner that could support the further development of products and services both within fleet services and field force management. Working together, we strengthened the company’s management team, governance structure, and internal processes. Norvestor worked closely with Abax to prioritize opportunities; to focus efforts and sequence key developments. Roadmaps to enhance and broaden the products and service offering and to grow in new customer segments and into geographies was established. Norvestor supported and structured a new acquisition strategy and supported management in their search for European acquisition targets. Abax completed seven add-on acquisitions that both consolidated the current market position and accelerated the market entry into Finland, UK and the Netherlands.
Abax at Exit
During Norvestor´s ownership from 2012 to 2017, Abax consolidated its position as a leading regional player while entering new international markets. Abax significantly grew its customer base and subscriptions, with recurring revenue more than doubling to NOK 590 million and EBITDA more than tripling to NOK 136 million during this period. Norvestor managed the sale of Abax to a financial buyer in June 2017.
«We were fortunate to have Norvestor as owners. They gave us space to build up and unleash energy and to harness madness in our organization, and they did not micro manage. They are down to earth people, tough, and inspiring to work with. In particular, they know financial markets in and out and they helped us with our acquisition agenda.»
Bjørn Erik Helgeland, COO of ABAX.