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Private Equity | TMT

Driv Kapital enters into partnership with renowned specialized IT consultancies SOCO, Gnist and Forse

Driv Kapital Fund I has acquired 38% of the shares in the newly established group consisting of Soco Norge AS (SOCO), Gnist Consulting AS (Gnist), Forse.NET AS (Forse.NET) and Forse Mobil AS (Forse Mobil). The companies’ founders, management and employees will own the remaining 62%. The partnership involves the creation of a new parent company which will have 100% ownership in all the companies, which until now have been owned by their founders and employees.

All companies offer consulting services. SOCO distinguishes itself as a niche-focused IT consulting firm dedicated to software testing and quality assurance. Gnist offers consulting services within technology management, tech leads, product management and agile coaching. Forse.NET is recognized for its expertise in the development of various digital solutions based on Microsoft and .NET applications. Forse Mobil specializes in mobile development of app solutions within iOS and Android.

SOCO, Gnist, and Forse will keep their individual brands and both management and employees in the respective companies will continue as before. The purpose of the merger is to achieve better customer and user orientation and to build a close-knit group of specialist environments within the IT consulting industry.

The companies are acknowledged consultancies within their field, renowned for their relentless focus on customer satisfaction, quality of service and their employees. Due to their customer-centric and quality-focused approach, the companies show strong margins and topline growth over time and low employee turnover. By coming together under one common ownership, the group now consists of 133 passionate employees, dedicated to delivering top-tier services to their clients. The newly established group had a combined revenue in 2023 of approximately US$28 million.

Marius Mæle, CEO at SOCO, said: “We are now bringing together some of Norway's foremost specialist environments under one umbrella. Freedom, flat structure, transparency and value-based management are what characterize our culture, and we have complementary expertise in digital product development.”

The goal is to grow the group into the industry’s best in customer and user orientation and, over time, to invite additional complementary companies into the group.

“We are looking for ambitious companies that complement our service offerings. For us, people and expertise come first and we are committed to providing professional breadth and career opportunities for our employees. Our consultants have significant freedom in their everyday work, along with corresponding responsibilities”, said Mæle.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Driv Kapital is an investment firm with a modern approach to private equity, seeking meaningful, long-term partnerships with driven individuals and organizations within the business services, software and consumer sectors. The investment firm and its employees have a strong track record from scaling small- and medium-sized Nordic companies.

Oaklins’ team in Norway served as the exclusive financial advisor to the owners of SOCO, Gnist, Forse.NET and Forse Mobil in this transaction.

Parties
“In our search for a financial sponsor to facilitate our growth strategy, we were facing major transaction issues we would have had difficulty in handling ourselves. Oaklins proved to be a valuable partner structuring the transaction process, providing required documentation and analysis. We would not advise any IT entrepreneurs to venture on such a process on their own. It is better to establish a dedicated project team covering all areas of expertise, working closely with the client.”

Terje Andersen

CEO, Forse.NET and Forse Mobil

Talk to the deal team

Erik Faureng

Partner
Oslo, Norway
Oaklins Norway

Dan Petterøe

Partner
Oslo, Norway
Oaklins Norway

Philip Dessingthon

Analyst
Oslo, Norway
Oaklins Norway

Einar W. Solheim

Analyst
Oslo, Norway
Oaklins Norway

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