EcoOnline acquired by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division

EcoOnline acquired by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division
Picture: EcoOnline CEO Göran Lindö (middle) and board members Jostein Vik from Viking Venture (left) and Christian Melbye from Summa Equity (right) are happy to welcome Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division on board. (Photo by Thomas Brun, NTB Kommunikasjon).

26th February 2020, Oslo – EcoOnline AS, a leading European software company helping customers optimize safe handling of chemicals and ensure occupational safety, will expand further internationally with new financing from Summa Equity and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.

EcoOnline is a leading provider of workplace health and safety software which focuses on reducing the negative impact chemicals can have on humans and the environment, enabling its customers to easily comply with complex regulations. In the EU, 53% of workplace deaths are caused by chemical exposure and the majority of companies in Europe are non-compliant with chemical safety regulations. In the UK the number of deaths from workplace chemical exposure is five timeshigher than that from traffic accidents. A recent study by the Swedish Work Environment Authority found non-compliance to be as high as 81%. EcoOnline’s services and solutions are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals #3 on good health and well-being, #8 on decent work and economic growth and #12 on responsible consumption and production.

Summa Equity and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division signed an agreement 18 February 2020 which secures new capital from Summa Equity’s Fund II and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. Summa Equity Fund II and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division will each acquire a 33% ownership in EcoOnline from selling shareholders, which include Summa Equity Fund I and Viking Venture. Both will remain shareholders in the company.

“We are thrilled to have the continued engagement and expertise of Summa Equity while adding Goldman Sachs as a key shareholder to provide further support for our sustained growth in existing as well as new international markets,” EcoOnline CEO, Göran Lindösays and continues: “In our next wave of growth, we are excited to have a new, strong, responsible and ambitious ownership team, and new capital to help us build on our vision and realize our European leadership ambition within chemical management and occupational safety solutions.”

“We are proud of what we have accomplished in EcoOnline during our 2.5-year ownership. We have focused on future-proofing the company by strengthening the organization, investing in R&D and executing several add-on acquisitions to help EcoOnline expand its Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) services and presence in Europe. We are very happy about that Summa Equity continues as a majority shareholder. EcoOnline’s purpose and value creation potential show that returns and sustainability can go hand-in-hand, a central pillar in our investment strategy,” says Christian Melby, Partner at Summa Equity and Board Member of EcoOnline.

“Having backed EcoOnline since 2014 we are thrilled to have Goldman Sachs and Summa Equity Fund II join as investors. The company is now ready to become the clear European leader in HSE software,” says Erik Hagen, Managing Partner of Viking Venture.

“EcoOnline is a pioneer within workplace safety software and is exceptionally well placed to benefit from and drive the trend towards safer and more sustainable workplaces. We look forward to working with the company and other shareholders over the coming years to support the company’s organic and acquisition-based growth,” continues Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division Partner, Michael Bruun.

The transaction remains subject to antitrust approval. Arma Partners acted as financial advisor to the selling shareholders and Marks Baughan Securities acted as financial advisor to the acquirers on the transaction.

About EcoOnline

EcoOnline is a leading supplier of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) software, making workplace safety tasks and compliance for companies user-friendly and cost-efficient. The company was founded in 2000 and has 6,000 customers and over 230 employees in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK and Ireland. EcoOnline is experiencing rapid growth and increased demand for its services in all markets.

About Summa Equity

Summa Equity is a thematic investment company with Nordic focus with more than EUR 1.4 billion under management. Founded in 2016, Summa Equity invests in companies within Resource Efficiency, Changing Demographics and Tech-enabled Businesses. Summa Equity is amongst the first Private Equity firms to commit to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and its investments are aligned with these.

About Viking Venture

Viking Venture is the Nordic Software Investor with NOK 2.6 billion under management. Founded in 2001, Viking Venture is an active minority investor in growth stage business to business Software companies in the Nordics.

About Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division

Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (MBD) is the primary center for the firm’s long-term principal investing activity. MBD is one of the leading private capital investors in the world with investments across private equity, infrastructure, private debt, growth equity and real estate.