BaltCap, a Baltic private equity fund, purchases the Estonian publisher and bookstore chain Rahva Raamat with the intention of establishing a Baltic-wide publishing and sales business. The deal is subject to clearance by the competition authority.
BaltCap recently acquired the Lithuanian publishing house Alma Littera and the Pegasus bookstore chain.
"We see synergies and mutual potential between these companies and Rahva Raamat. Our aim is to make reading books more convenient for even more people," Oliver Kullman, partner at BaltCap, explained.
Kullman said that Baltcap plans to establish a prominent business group active in the book publishing and sales in the Baltic states.
Viljar Ots, a member of the Rahva Raamat board, stated that the existing owners, who purchased the chain in 2004, aspired to become the best bookstore in Europe and that it was now time for the company to expand with the assistance of the new owners.
Rahva Raamat has been operating in Estonia since 1912. Today it runs 12 stores in eight Estonian cities, as well as an online store, a restaurant called Literaat, two cafés and a publishing house.
Ridango, a developer of public transportation ticketing systems, Krekenavos, a company in the meat sector, and Piletilevi Group, a Baltic-wide ticketing platform, are all part of BaltCap's BPEF III portfolio. Rahva Raamat is the fourth investment of the fund.
After the acquisition Rahva Raamat will continue to be led by its present management group.
Viljar Ots, Gertti Kogermann, Ando Raud, Sander Kopli and Ülar Maapalu currently own Rahva Raamat.
In 2010, Ots and Maapalu purchased the shop chain from its previous owner, Ekspress Group, for EEK 33 million (Estonia's currency before joining the Euro in 2011).
Editor: Kristina Kersa