EAB Private Equity to accelerate the international growth of wind turbine maintenance services provider Bladefence

EVLI PLC PRESS RELEASE December 21, 2022, at 10.00 a.m. (EET/EEST)

EAB Private Equity, now part of Evli, has made an investment in Finnish company Bladefence, which provides blade inspection, maintenance, and repair services for wind turbines. Wind power is now being built at a record pace, which is also driving demand for maintenance services and makes Bladefence an attractive investment. EAB Private Equity will become a significant minority shareholder in the company. Janneniska Ltd, the founder of Bladefence, and key personnel will continue as owners of the company.

Headquartered in Vantaa, Bladefence is a pioneer in its field, providing services to wind farm owners and operators as well as to equipment manufacturers in Europe, the US and Canada. Its key competitive advantage is its own fleet of equipment and experienced staff, which enables efficient maintenance processes and rapid responses for expansive wind farms. Major global companies, such as wind turbine manufacturers, are long-standing customers of Bladefence. In Finland, the customer base includes, among others, Suomen Hyötytuuli.

"Blade maintenance work is carried out at great heights and in very challenging conditions. Replacing blades is very expensive, which is why owners are trying to prolong their service life by maintaining their equipment more systematically. Failure to carry out proper maintenance significantly reduces the ability to reap the full benefits from wind energy. Preventive maintenance is the key to a successful wind farm operation and maximises the efficiency of turbine blades throughout their life cycle", says Kimmo Kohtamäki, CEO of Bladefence.

The company is aiming for strong growth in North America, where wind farms are typically larger than elsewhere and where its competitive advantage is most prominent. After China, the US is the world's largest wind power market in terms of capacity, and in 2020 North America also overtook Europe in terms of new wind power deployment.

Wind power is now being built at a record pace

The energy crisis has accelerated the megatrend favouring renewable forms of energy. Demand for wind power is being driven not only in order to meet energy demand but also to build energy self-sufficiency and to slow global warming. Wind power generation costs have fallen rapidly in recent years, and it is now the cheapest way to build new electricity generation capacity. In addition, the uptake of wind power is also being sped up by the EU's REPowerEU plan and the recent passage of major climate legislation in the US, namely The Inflation Reduction Act.

Wind power is also being built in Finland at a record pace: in the first half of this year, 154 new wind turbines were built, more than the 141 built in the whole of the previous year. In 2021, Finland's wind farms produced 8.1 TWh of electricity, equivalent to close to 10% of Finland's electricity consumption. The Finnish Wind Power Association estimates that Finland has the potential for at least 30 TWh of annual wind power production by 2030.

"The significant need for maintenance of existing wind turbines, the rapid pace of new wind turbine construction and the focus on energy independence and a carbon-neutral future create an excellent basis for the growth of Bladefence", says Kalle Kekkonen, Managing Partner at EAB Private Equity.

The energy transition provides interesting growth opportunities and investment targets

Wind and solar power are the fastest growing sources of clean electricity generation, and EAB Private Equity's investments this year have focused on companies benefiting from the energy transition.

"We believe Bladefence is a fantastic addition to our portfolio. It is a continuation of the investment we made in the summer in Solnet, a provider of smart solar energy solutions. In line with our investment strategy, we aim to make significant minority investments in growth companies with excellent return potential that promote responsibility and sustainability", says Kekkonen.

"This investment will enable Bladefence to invest in growth in target markets and in product development that will allow us to better meet growing demand. Our turnover has exceeded €10 million, and we aim to grow this exponentially. The arrival of a new active owner will accelerate the implementation of our strategy and give us additional strength to further develop the business", says Kohtamäki.

For more information:

Kalle Kekkonen
Managing Partner, EAB Private Equity Oy
+358 50 304 5861

Kimmo Kohtamäki
CEO, Bladefence Ltd
+358 40 558 2372

Evli Plc

We view wealth as a means to promote good, both at the individual and the societal level. We help institutions, companies, and individuals to grow their wealth responsibly, based on our experience, expertise, and Nordic values.

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*Kantar Prospera External Asset Management Finland 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, Kantar Prospera Private Banking 2019, 2020 Finland
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Bladefence Ltd

Bladefence is a specialist for wind turbine blade inspections, repairs and maintenance. Since the company was founded in 2011, its mission has been to provide high quality blade service and cost-effective long-term solutions to customers. With a strong focus on top-tier technology and methods, expertise, project management and safety, Bladefence maximizes both performance and endurance of wind turbine blades. The company employs over 150 industry experts and offers services throughout Europe and North America. Visit www.bladefence.com for more information.

Distribution: Nasdaq Helsinki, main media, www.evli.com

Bladefence technicians carrying out structural repairs to blades on a suspended platform in Raahe