Published: 2013-08-29 08:00:01 CEST
Mash Group Oyj
Press release

Euroloan Consumer Finance PLC in 28 million EUR deal

Helsinki, Finland, 2013-08-29 08:00 CEST (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cochito Group, the biggest owner of Euroloan Consumer Finance PLC, made an offer for the outstanding shares in May 2013, at a total valuation of 28 million euros. The deal has now been approved by all shareholders and finalized, leaving Cochito Oy as the single owner of Euroloan Consumer Finance Oyj and the collection company Crédito Cobro Oy, owner of the Cobro24 brand. Cochito Group currently has offices in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Warsaw.

Tommi Lindfors, CEO of Cochito Group comments: “Euroloan has been a success story from the beginning, and this deal enables us to increase the expansion rate of our business in many dimensions. There are also clear and strong synergies between our business areas that we can now exploit fully by focusing our resources. We made the purchase by emitting new shares, widening and strengthening the ownership base and equity ratio of Cochito significantly. We are now able to realize our plans and really make a big impact on the market””

“Our much strengthened balance sheet in the consolidated group, with equity of over 10 million euros, means we are very solid, stable and a reliable investment as we have shown over the last six years”, Executive Vice President and Group CFO Jonas Lindholm adds. “We have continuously widened our financing base and our relative cost of financing has consequently decreased as financers have realized that. It is really a pleasure to work under these conditions as CFO, compared to the situation many companies that struggle in an adverse market and limited options for financing. In fact, our new corporate solutions will address some of the financing needs of SME companies, hopefully making life easier for financial managers out there. We have fortunately been able to pick and choose and really benefited from the overall market situation.”

Mr. Lindholm continues: “The Group will now seek to publish more information than before. Due to limitations related to the transaction, Euroloan as a subsidiary has been prevented from publishing financial reports during the deal. As the ownership of Euroloan has now been consolidated to a single owner, no further reports on individual subsidiaries will be published except for statutory reporting requirements, as there are no external shareholders needing the information. Future reports will instead be published as consolidated Group reports on an annual basis. We will also seek to increase our qualitative reporting and express our views on the development of the business as a whole in a changing environment.”

Mr. Samuli Korpinen, M.Sc. (Econ), MBA has been appointed CEO of Euroloan Consumer Finance PLC. Mr. Korpinen previously worked as Country Manager for Euroloan in Finland, and will now be responsible for the entire consumer finance business. Before joining Euroloan in 2011 he worked in investment banking for a period of over 10 years. According to Mr. Korpinen “the largest Business Area of the Group, BA Consumer Finance has adapted really well to the major legal changes in Finland successfully with the introduction of Euroloan’s new continuous credit services. Developed to be usable on all European markets, the internationally scalable ‘virtual credit card’ model has proven to be very much in demand with both old and, happily, many new customers, who are drawn by our easy service and low rates. Our business has really benefited from the legal changes as we were one of very few market players who had already prepared a working business model for regulated markets elsewhere”.

Cochito Group has strengthened its Board of Directors with key appointments

Mr. Timo Saini, M.Sc. (Econ), a longstanding board member in several group companies, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Cochito Group, following co-founder Pauli Hentunen in the position. According to Mr. Hentunen, the transition toward a board with top financial services professionals has been completed on schedule, thanks to Mr. Saini’s efforts, and he is especially pleased with the way the new board supports the group’s operative management.

As former head of Reader’s Digest Nordic and a seasoned board professional, Mr. Saini is in a key position in developing the Group further. “Structuring the business into business areas including consumer finance, corporate customers, collection and investments will create significant synergies. Moving into a new phase with strong growth also puts a challenge to our exceptionally competent Board of Directors. I am very happy with the composition of our current Board” Mr. Saini comments. “The Group has pioneered the development of a new breed of financial services, and there are many exciting things underway that will continue the success story. The competence of the group employees and the vibrant activity has convinced me – if there is a company to follow in the market, this is it.” 

The new Board of Directors of Cochito Group consists of seven members:

  1. Mr. Timo Saini, M.Sc. (econ), Chairman of the Board is an experienced business leader. He started his career at Unilever Finland Oy and has ever since worked in managing director positions at Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet Oy, Talentum Oyj and as CEO of Oy Valitut Palat – Reader’s Digest Ab, all together for approximately 20 years. During the years 1997-1999 he was European vice president at Reader’s Digest Ass. Inc. located in London. He holds a M.Sc. in economics. Since 2002 Mr. Saini has worked as a board member in several companies, often as a chairman. Many of his board memberships are or have been in family businesses and in companies driven by private equity investors. He has special skills in board evaluation and corporate governance. He is also a popular speaker and writer in developing Board performance.
  1. Mr. Heikki Palosuo, LL.M, M.B.A, has over 30 years of experience in banking and finance. Heikki has managed or taken part in the establishment of different banking entities in Scandinavia and in the U.S. Heikki held various positions at Skopbank during the years 1980–1996 including in-house lawyer, head of letters of credit, SVP in corporate finance, New York branch manager and Executive VP. During the years 1996–2001, Heikki worked for Danske Bank, Finland, holding the positions of Helsinki branch manager, country manager and head of corporate finance. Since 2001 Heikki has worked on versatile financial advisory assignments, M&A and debt and equity capital market transactions as Senior Advisor at Corporate Advisor Group Oy and as chairman and owner of Northeast Investments and Capital Ltd. Heikki has served as a board member in various companies.
  1. Tapio Vuojärvi, LL.M, has 20 years of experience from outsourced receivables management services (ORM) and debt portfolio purchase. He played a leading role in setting the contemporary industry standards and creating a platform for rapid growth for the ORM industry in Finland, of the Baltic States and Russia. He also has wide experience of consolidation and development of the ORM industry in the Nordic Countries and Europe. He has served leading financial institutions, telecom and utility companies, public organizations, retail and media companies as well as many others in managing and financing receivables. Mr. Vuojärvi holds several board positions and he has currently joined the board of Cochito Group, a fast-growing group of companies in the financial services industry that includes Euroloan Consumer Finance PLC, the leading brand in consumer finance. His professional background includes Lindorff Oy as Senior Vice President responsible for the Finnish, Baltic and Russian operations, leading profitable growth in all areas, Lindorff Invest Oy as Managing Director, leading debt portfolio acquisition and accounts receivables financing business in Finland, and Lindorff Group Ab as Senior Vice President responsible for the European SME market.
  1. Mrs. Riitta Salonen, M.Sc. (Econ) has a remarkable career from Danske Bank. She started her career as a partner in Inter Consulting Ky 1971-1980, and has since worked over 30 years in (current) Danske Bank in several positions; Postipankki: Deputy General Manager, Capital Markets, Leonia Corporate Bank and Sampo Bank: Senior Vice President and Head of Capital Markets, Danske Bank: Senior Vice President and Head of Debt Capital Markets Finland. Today Riitta is a Board Member of Gaia Network Association as well as Cochito Group. She is a leading professional with an exceptionally wide knowledge of capital market and corporate finance products, such as origination and syndication of domestic and euro bonds, syndicated loans, equity issues, swaps, asset securitization, corporate finance advisory, privatization, IPO’s and bank’s own funding.    She also has an excellent contact network with clients in the Nordic area and investment banks.
  1. Mr. Jonas Lindholm, M.Sc. has over 20 years of experience from working with strategy and finance for large international companies. He heads the strategy and business development and the finance and administration of the Group. Before joining the group as Executive Vice President and CFO in 2010, he worked as Vice President at Pöyry, leading high-profile projects for strategic and financial management of international energy, industrial, infrastructure and financial sector clients, and in public sector projects. Earlier he worked for KPMG as Director and Head of Business Area Risk Advisory Services, at Oxford IPC Worldwide as Partner and Vice President, Europe, and in several leading positions within ABB Financial Services and ABB Group. He has a number of Board positions, and is a founding member holding a Fellowship with the Oxford Leadership Academy.
  1. Mr. Pauli Hentunen (BBA), co-founder of the Group and former Chairman. Pauli has worked with marketing and sales management in the kitchen, home appliance and real estate businesses. He has held leading positions at Puustelli, Electrolux, Huoneistokeskus and OP-Kiinteistökeskus among others. He is member of the Boards of Directors of several companies and has long experience with recruiting and training expert personnel, and IT systems development
  1. Mr. Tommi Lindfors, M.Sc. (Econ), co-founder and CEO of Cochito Oy. Earlier he worked as the CEO of Euroloan Consumer Finance Plc and has experience with international financial services, real estate investment and entrepreneurship. Previously he has worked at ABB; within ABB Group, ABB Credit, and ABB Financial Services, and in OP-bank Group. Tommi is the Chairman of the Board of Group companies Euroloan Consumer Finance Plc and Crédito Cobro Oy and is a leading expert in business development and investment.

For more information please see:

         Jonas Lindholm, Group CFO, Board Director
         Phone: +358 10 217 1003