VIA equity is a leading Northern European private equity buy-out firm with an excellent track record of building and transforming our investments into national and international industry leaders. We invest in software and IT companies of all sizes, either alone (primarily in small and medium-sized companies with revenue from EUR 10 million to EUR 100 million) or together with one or more of our Limited Partners (primarily larger deals).
Founded in early 2006, VIA equity is a privately owned and independent Northern European private equity firm focusing on buy-outs of software and IT companies.
Since 2006 VIA equity has raised five funds and has more than EUR 400 million under management. The Limited Partners in the four present funds, VIA equity fund A, VIA equity fund II, VIA equity fund III and VIA equity fund IV, are all internationally well-recognized and acknowledged investors. We typically make equity investments in small and medium-sized companies; however, in syndication with our Limited Partners and others the biggest single deal to date is more than EUR 2 billion (enterprise value).
The VIA equity team has extensive experience from investing in, and successfully transforming, software and IT companies. Our core investment focus is within a broad definition of the TMT/ICT* and related services industries. However, given that we identify a “VIA equity angle” on an investment, we consider investments in a wide range of industries inside the technology sector.
VIA equity is uniquely designed with the right mix of management and industry capabilities and has the financial strength and the legal structure to invest in all profitable stages of a company’s movement towards its long-term goal. VIA equity’s portfolio today holds a mix of companies originating from several countries and our primary focus is on companies that reside in Northern Europe, i.e., Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
* Technology, Media & Telecommunication (TMT)/Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
Our investment criteria are optimized for flexible investments and we can make both controlling, joint-controlling and minority equity investments.
We participate in classic private equity structured deals such as leveraged buy-outs and management buy-outs but we also consider EBITDA-positive companies in need for growth capital.
Although every case has its certain characteristics, we usually look for the following traits:
1) Strong position with regional or global potential in the market
2) Substantial potential for top-line and earnings growth
3) Market segment with attractive characteristics e.g. high growth, consolidation opportunities, etc.
We have an excellent track record of building and transforming our investments into national and international industry leaders. Our experienced investment professionals operate from team-based values. We know that the key to building a successful enterprise is a long-term focus on its core strengths. Through the unique setup of our fund, VIA equity offers our portfolio companies a competitive mix of skills, network and experience.
Our approach is to take a proactive role in our portfolio companies and on top of actively participating through the Board of Directors we also have a very hands-on approach to executing on the identified strategy for our companies.
Our offering: Enabling Growth and Transformation through four dimensions
- Strategy – VIA equity and management define roadmap, e.g. M&A, internationalization, strategic positioning, exit planning
- Execution – VIA equity has extensive experience from growing and transforming businesses through growth initiatives, operational improvement and business development
- People & Network – VIA equity assists in strategic hiring of e.g. key personnel and/or board members from our international network. On top of this, a VIA equity investment officer is always on the board
- Capital – VIA equity has the financial power to support substantial M&A and growth initiatives. Moreover, we arrange the optimal financial structures and provide valuable financial expertise
In short: We are committed to make an extra-ordinary effort to grow and transform our portfolio companies to national and international industry leaders.
VIA equity a/s is the management company for VIA equity Fund A K/S, VIA equity Fund II K/S, VIA equity Fund III K/S and VIA equity Fund IV K/S (“the Funds”). The Funds are limited partnerships. The officers of VIA equity a/s invest privately or through privately owned holding companies into the Funds through the general partner/ investment company to the individual Funds. The management company VIA equity a/s is owned by the officers of VIA equity a/s; either privately or through privately owned holding companies.
The limited partners are internationally well-recognized and acknowledged investors and Danish family offices.
Distributions of committed capital by limited partner type for the different Funds are as follows:
- VIA equity fund A K/S, VIA equity Fund II K/S and VIA equity Fund III K/S: International financial investors
- VIA equity Fund IV K/S: 10% Danish family offices and 90% international financial investors
- VIA equity Fund V K/S: 4% Danish family offices and 96% international financial investors
The Investment structure for VIA equity funds is as follows:
The management structure is as follows:
The daily tasks in VIA equity a/s are handled by own employed professionals (see team) and partly by delegation to selected outsourcing cooperation partners. Delegated (outsourced) tasks include for example fund administration and IT infrastructure.
VIA equity a/s employees’ nationality and tax status:
The team of employed professionals consists of eight Danish nationals, one Swedish national, two Norwegian nationals and three German nationals. Ten team members are Danish tax residents, one team member is salary income taxable in Denmark while paying capital gains tax, real estate tax, etc. in Sweden and three team members are German tax residents. The team members’ investments in the general partners/investment companies of the Funds (See note 1 for details) are direct investments from private individuals or through privately owned holding companies. All privately owned holding companies are Danish companies with limited liability (in Danish “Anpartsselskab” or “ApS”), except for one team member holding the relevant ownerships through a privately owned Swedish holding company with limited liability (in Swedish “Aktiebolag” or “AB”).
A former team member holds investments in VVP Komplementar II K/S and VVP Komplementar III K/S as direct private investments.
VVP Komplementar II K/S and VIA Komplementar III K/S are general partners for respectively VIA equity Fund II K/S and VIA equity Fund III K/S.
Note 1: The different Funds have different general partners and investment companies. VIA officers invest into a relevant Fund either through both a general partner and an investment company or through an investment company alone. In the latter cases, the management company VIA equity a/s owns the general partner.
Key investor document:
VIA equity Fond I K/S
CVR no. 29307571
– The fund was closed and dissolved mid December 2020, as the fund had no remaining assets.
VIA equity Fond II K/S
CVR no. 33358784
VIA equity Fond III K/S
CVR no. 37889407
VIA equity Fund IV K/S
CVR no. 41726881
VIA equity Fund V K/S
CVR no. 43686585
No annual report filed.
VIA equity a/s
CVR no. 29306931
Board of directors:
- John Helmsøe-Zinck, chairman (Partner at VIA equity a/s)
- Louise Ladegaard, board member (Director, Strategic Transformation & Group M&A, ISS World Services A/S)
- Lars Rohde, board member (Former Chairman of the Board of Governors, Denmark’s National Bank)
VIA equity a/s is a private equity fund manager (advisor and administration company) and is approved by and under supervision of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authorities (Finanstilsynet) to operate as a fund manager for VIA equity Fund A, VIA equity Fund II, VIA equity Fund III, VIA equity Fund IV, and future VIA equity funds.
Environmental, Diversity, and Responsible Investment and Sustainability policies:
Responsibility in Investment:
VIA equity supports responsible investments benefiting the environment and society as a whole, as well as a sustainable financial environment characterized by good governance, ethics, integrity and accountability.
For more information see “sustainability-related disclosures” below.
Tax Code of Conduct:
VIA equity aims to maximize returns in compliance with tax legislation of the countries in which VIA equity invest.
VIA equity complies with tax legislation in the countries where VIA equity invest. VIA equity expects the companies in which VIA equity invests to do the same and pay their due tax.
VIA equity recognizes the importance of tax as an integral measure in achieving UN’s sustainable goals as well as the need for a common framework for responsible tax behavior. VIA equity wishes to support and contribute to these developments as part of our responsible investment strategy.
To facilitate the above principles VIA equity has a set of tax principles in form of a Tax Code of Conduct based on the Active Owners Denmark (Formerly DVCA) guidelines “Responsible Tax Code”.
VIA equity uses best efforts to ensure that this obligation equally applies to the portfolio companies of the different VIA equity funds.
Tax Code of Conduct
1. Tax planning
1.1. VIA does not condone aggressive tax planning. VIA defines aggressive tax planning as exploitation of technicalities in any given tax regime or as exploitation of inconsistencies between tax regimes (“rule arbitrage”) to artificially reduce tax liability.
1.2. VIA is free to structure the business in tax-optimal ways as long as this is guided by commercial considerations. It is e.g. an acceptable goal to ensure that the same investment return is not taxed more than once. Within these parameters this can for example take the form of (the list is not exhaustive):
1.2.1. General use of holding companies (not falling within section 1.3.1. below).
1.2.2. General use of available double taxation treaties where the business substance justifies the use of a specific double taxation treaty.
1.2.3. General use of current and historic tax losses to reduce taxable income.
1.2.4. General use of debt financing (not falling within section 1.3. below).
1.2.5. Use of hybrid entities for non-aggressive tax planning (e.g., managing tax filing obligations).
1.2.6. Use of local tax incentive schemes generally available such as depreciation and/or tax credits. VIA recognizes the sovereign right of governments to design their own tax policies so that specific industries or areas are promoted and for VIA and portfolio companies to make use of such incentive schemes.
1.3. VIA shall use best efforts not to engage in aggressive tax planning or any tax structuring, which conflicts with applicable tax law or its intensions, hereunder general anti-tax avoidance rules or conflicts with the examples/principles listed below:
1.3.1. Abuse of tax treaties, where holding companies, which do not satisfy the OECD Principal Purpose Test, are used for the sole or main purpose of reducing or avoiding withholding tax.
1.3.2. Transfer pricing planning where risks and income are artificially shifted to low-tax countries.
1.3.3. Use of financial instruments for aggressive tax planning
1.3.4. Use of hybrid entities for purposes of aggressive tax planning.
1.3.5. Use of highly leveraged acquisition structures in jurisdictions without general interest limitation rules in with the aim of reducing taxable income not in line with OECD- and EU-principles.
2. Domiciliation of holding companies
2.1. The starting point for VIA is the use of domestic (relative to the Portfolio Company in question)
holding companies (e.g. use of Danish holding companies for a Danish Portfolio Company)
2.2. For some investments, the use of non-domestic holding companies is desirable from a commercial point of view. VIA accepts the use of non-domestic holding companies in these situations, if VIA is able to explain the commercial rationale for the choice of domiciliation and can provide reasonable documentation for that no tax avoidance or aggressive tax planning (as set forward in section 1.3.1. above) is part of the choice of domiciliation.
2.3. VIA shall ensure that it does not make use of intermediary holding companies incorporated or tax resident in blacklisted jurisdictions with reference to section 3.1.1. and 3.1.2. below.
3. Blacklisted jurisdictions
3.1. VIA shall ensure that it does not make investments in portfolio companies established or tax resident in:
3.1.1. Jurisdictions that are deemed “not compliant” according to the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes peer review process at the time of the members initial investment, or
3.1.2. Jurisdictions listed on the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions at the time of the initial investment.
4. Handling of Tax and related Risks
4.1. If establishing a structure, VIA must ensure that the structure is compliant with applicable tax rules and the structuring advice shall contain a statement to this effect.
4.2. In case of investments in countries that are not members of EU, EEA, and/or OECD, VIA shall use reasonable efforts to use a reputable and independent tax advisor for tax reporting/compliance or review of tax reporting/compliance.
4.3. VIA plans to fully disclose facts and circumstances when requested to do so by competent tax authorities.
5. Mandatory Disclosure and Exchange of Cross-border Tax Arrangements (DAC6)
5.1. VIA shall comply with the requirements under the mandatory automatic exchange of information rules contained in European Council Directive (EU) 2018/822 (the “MDR Directive” and an “MDR Directive Obligation” as applicable) with respect to all investments/transactions of VIA.
Active Owners Denmark (Formerly DVCA):
VIA equity a/s is a member of Active Owners Denmark (Formerly DVCA). Active Owners Denmark has issued a set of guidelines to promote transparency in the private equity industry. This includes various requirements for the information that private equity firms are to make available on request or publish on their websites. VIA equity a/s including the VIA funds meet these requirements.
Complaints and whistleblowing
VIA equity practices a high level of ethical standard in business and personal conduct. The entire management, all employees and representatives of VIA equity must practice integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities and comply with high moral standards and all applicable laws and company policies.
VIA equity has designated Marie Bagge Hougaard as responsible for handling complaints.
VIA equity has established a whistleblower scheme where relevant incidents can be reported.
The whistleblower site can be accessed here.
Collection of your personal data
VIA equity collects your personal data as follows:
- when you are in contact with VIA equity.
Personal data processed about you
In connection with the above, we may collect the following personal information about you:
- Ordinary personal data: The personal data, you choose to submit to VIA equity, e.g. first name, surname, e-mail address, industry, information about the business, your CV, etc.
- Special categories of personal data: Generally, VIA equity does not process special categories of personal data, unless you have provided us with such information, e.g. in relation to an event or in other correspondence with VIA equity or when you apply for a job at VIA equity.
The purpose for processing of your personal data
The purpose of processing your personal information is to be able to (i) answer your inquiry satisfactorily, (ii) administrate and assess potential and actual investments and (iii) to maintain business relationships.
The legal basis for processing of your personal data
VIA equity process personal data in order to fulfil an agreement with you or to pursue a legitimate interest, except where such interest is regarded to be overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data. A legitimate interest for VIA equity can be our examinations in relation to your inquiry, handling of recruitment processes, handling of the relevant processes in relation to acquisitions and investments, maintaining business relationships etc.
Processing of personal data on employees or representatives of business partners
The processing of personal data includes personal data on employees or other representatives of our business partners and network from who we collect the necessary business information including name, contact data (telephone number, e-mail and address of the business), job position and information contained in the e-mail correspondence between the parties. Such personal data is processed with the purpose of retaining, developing and servicing a business relation as well as to comply with a contract entered into between VIA equity and the particular business partner. The legal basis for the processing of personal data is the legitimate interests of VIA equity in connection to maintaining a business relationship, etc.
VIA equity will store your personal data for as long as you are a business contact to us, including contact details that are stored for a later approach, in relation to potential investments and acquisitions, unless you instruct VIA equity to delete your personal data, which VIA equity will accommodate subject to retaining data necessary for business purposes, e.g. accounting, and legal requirements. If there is an actual or potential legal dispute with you or the company you are employed at, your personal data will be retained as long as necessary for these purposes.
Recipients of your personal data
Certain recipients process personal data on behalf of VIA equity. Such data processors may only process your personal data in accordance with the instructions given by VIA equity, i.e. these Data processors are not allowed to process your personal data for their own purposes.
Further, VIA equity may disclose your personal data to third parties, including VIA equity’s business partners, supplier’s and other third parties, who processes personal data about you on behalf of VIA equity and in accordance with the instructions given by VIA equity. To the extent VIA equity discloses or transfers your personal data to third parties, such disclosure or transfer will only take place if it is in accordance with applicable law and this might require your prior consent.
VIA equity has considered and implemented appropriate technical and organisational technical measures in order to protect your personal data and ensure your rights as a data subject.
You have certain rights as a data subject. Hence, you have the right of access to the personal data VIA equity processes about you. Further, you have the right to rectification, erasure (the “right to be forgotten”) or restriction of the personal data VIA equity processes about you. You have also the right to object to the processing of your personal data.
Under specific circumstances you have the right to data portability. Thus, where processing is based on a consent or a contract with you and the processing is carried out by automated means, you have the right to receive the personal data concerning you in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. You have the right to transmit this personal data to a third party without hindrance from VIA equity, if technically possible.
If processing of your personal data is based on your consent, you may withdraw your consent at any time. Please note that this does not affect VIA equity ‘s processing of your personal data prior to the withdrawal of your consent.
You can read further about your rights in the Danish Data Protection Agency’s guideline on the data subject’s rights here.
Filing of complaints
If you wish to file a complaint regarding VIA equity’s processing of your personal data, you can contact Jesper Hørsholt.
If your complaint is not resolved by VIA equity to your satisfaction, you can choose to file a complaint to the Danish Data Protection Agency.
Danish Data Protection Agency (in Danish Datatilsynet)
Borgergade 28, 5
1300, København K
Telephone number: +45 33 19 32 00
The EU has adopted ambitious goals for the development of sustainability and, among other things, has had a major focus on the financial sector in relation to implementing frameworks, so that end investors obtain greater insight into the real level of sustainability of companies and investments.
The EU has adopted several regulations to promote sustainable investments. For VIA equity a/s, Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of 27 November 2019 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector, as amended (the “Disclosure Regulation”), is particularly relevant.
The Disclosure Regulation contains explicit information disclosure obligations and requirements for financial market participants to inform investors about whether and how their investment decisions affect the green and social agenda. The purpose of the regulation is to harmonize the financial investment information on sustainability, so that investors can decide for themselves whether an investment is in fact sustainable.
Responsible Investment and Sustainability Policy
The objective of VIA equity a/s’s Responsible Investment and Sustainability Policy is to describe VIA equity a/s’s commitment to sustainability and how it is integrated in principles, processes and guidelines for VIA and the funds under VIAs management, including as to sustainability risks.
VIA equity supports responsible investments benefiting the environment and society as a whole, as well as a sustainable financial environment characterized by good governance, ethics, integrity and accountability.
VIA equity endeavors not to engage in activities that may be legal, but that have tax evasion as the main purpose or promotes violent conflicts. VIA equity funds strive not to make investments in companies that deliberately and repeatedly violate the rules laid down by the national authorities in the markets in which the companies operate or the rules, norms and standards that ensue from conventions and other international agreements ratified by Denmark – this applies irrespective of whether the country in which the companies operate has ratified those agreements. Nor do VIA equity funds make investments in companies located in countries being subjected to a trade embargo imposed by the UN or the EU and endorsed by Denmark.
VIA equity focuses on active ownership to promote the long-term value creation of VIA equity’s investments. As part of exercising the different rights as a shareholder VIA equity funds are, through the management company, represented at portfolio companies’ general meetings and in the portfolio companies’ boards of directors as active board members.
The employees of VIA equity a/s are eligible for a yearly bonus maximized at different percentages of the annual salary. The bonus depends to a large part how well an individual employee lives up to and performs regarding the defined operative processes in the organization.
ESG performance of VIA equity and of the VIA equity funds influences the bonus as VIA equity has for a number of years integrated ESG elements, including sustainability risks, into the operative processes in the screening phase, investment processes including due diligence, portfolio development and exit processes.
No consideration of adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors
VIA equity a/s does not consider any adverse impacts of our investment decisions on sustainability factors on an entity level in accordance with point (b) of Article 4(1) of the Disclosure Regulation.
The main reason why VIA equity does not consider any adverse impacts of our investment decisions on sustainability factors on an entity level is the structure of VIA equity’s financial products, being investment funds making investments in mostly small/medium cap North European companies in the white-collar segment, mostly software, consulting, ecommerce, service, etc. companies. This investment structure renders it difficult for VIA equity to collect sufficient data to correctly identify and report on the adverse impact of its funds’ investments in portfolio companies by reference to the indicators listed in Table 1 of Annex I of the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/1288 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 with regard to regulatory technical standards, especially where a fund is a minority investor in a given portfolio company.
VIA equity will, however, consider adverse impacts of our investment decisions on sustainability factors on product level for each financial product referred to in Article 8(1) and Article 9(1-3) of the Disclosure Regulation which VIA equity makes available.
VIA equity will on a regular basis evaluate whether to consider, on an entity level, adverse impacts on sustainability factors of future investment decisions, including as more compliance and methodology guidelines become available in respect of the Disclosure Regulation.
This statement has been made public on 5th of January 2023. It will be reviewed at least annually.
VIA equity’s framework for sustainable financial products
According to the Disclosure Regulation, VIA equity a/s must provide sustainability-related information about its funds. The information which must be provided depends on the specific fund’s sustainability goals, including whether the fund is considered a sustainable investment, if the fund promotes environmental and/or social characteristics or whether the fund neither promotes environmental nor social characteristics.
As VIA equity has offered both products which promote social characteristics in accordance with the Disclosure Regulation (see Article 8 of the Disclosure Regulation) and non-sustainable products that neither promote environmental nor social characteristics (see Article 6 of the Disclosure Regulation), please choose below whether you want to read more about either Article 8 products or Article 6 products.
You can see how VIA equity’s funds are classified in accordance with the Disclosure Regulation below:
- VIA equity Fund A K/S – Not sustianable (Article 6)
- VIA equity Fond II K/S – Not sustianable (Article 6)
- VIA equity Fond III K/S – Not sustianable (Article 6)
- VIA equity Fund IV K/S – Not sustianable (Article 6)
- VIA equity Fund V K/S – Promoting social characteristics (Article 8)