Permira’s office in Stockholm. Kurt Björklund, Co-managing Partner at Permira and Yue Gong, Investment Director at AP6 and in charge of the collaboration with Permira.
Photos: Johan Olsson
Permira identifies investments via its combined strength of having a local presence on three continents and special sector teams, which focus on different areas. That’s how concepts and resources can merge in a powerful way and create opportunities for a special kind of collaboration with a partner like AP6.
“We identify various types of investment and create collaboration opportunities by constantly maintaining an active presence in different markets. AP6 is prepared, and has the resources for entering the process during the early stages. And that is a prerequisite for being able to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise,” says Kurt Björklund, Co-managing Partner at Permira.
Permira does not a have formal head office, in the traditional sense. Instead, much of that responsibility has been allocated to the company’s twelve offices across Europe, Asia and North America. In addition to that, Permira has sector teams that are specialized in different areas.
“Everyone working at our offices meets with the sector teams and asks what they’re looking for. They, in turn, want to know what’s out there, for example, in the Nordic Region. We share ideas and suggestions, regardless of whether they come from Asia or North America. That, is a real strength,” explains Kurt Björklund.
In terms of collaboration, there are more opportunities for both parties based on the fact that AP6 also invests in funds via direct investments.
“AP6’s expertise and Permira’s working method creates opportunities for more forms of collaboration. We see that as a clear advantage,” says Yue Gong, Investment Manager for Permira at AP6.
One outcome of the collaboration is the investment in Allegro, the most popular online marketplace in Poland, with more than 20 million registered users and 14 million transactions each month.
AP6 has co-invested in Allegro together with Permira and another private equity firm, Cinven.
“This particular co-investment is a very good fit with AP6’s investment strategy. Our collaboration with Permira gives us access to a new geographic region and new knowledge,” says Yue Gong.
The investment in Allegro stems from Permira’s vast expertise in distance trading, consumption and IT/technology. Besides that, they have local understanding of each country’s market and the progress it has made on technological development.
“We want to provide support, offer opportunities and serve as a kind of service organization for founders and entrepreneurs. We want to offer them support that makes it easier for them to take the next step in their efforts to expand,” says Kurt Björklund.
This particular co-investment is a very good fit with AP6’s investment strategy. Our collaboration with Permira gives us access to a new geographic region and new knowledge,” says Yue Gong, Investment Director at AP6 and in charge of the collaboration with Permira.
Investors have different preferences and requirements. Some focus on a particular sector, other on a geographic region via specific countries.
“AP6 is extremely diversified as regards sectors, industries and geographic representation. We find this extremely interesting. It opens up more opportunities for collaboration with Permira,” says Kurt Björklund.
However, it also places higher demands on each party, so there must be an emphasis on understanding each other and building relationships. Only then will it be possible to derive the full benefits from each organization’s expertise and experience.
“AP6 puts a lot of effort into building long-term relationships based on trust, because that’s the key to creating new opportunities for making attractive investments together,” says Yue Gong.
It’s an approach that Permira also values very highly.
“Creating mutual trust is fundamental to our strategy and way of working. It requires quicker forms of communication and more opportunities for testing different ideas,” says Kurt Björklund.