Widely considered the creator of the modern Finnish sauna, Harvia is a sauna heater manufacturer that has operated as a family business since its establishment in 1950. As the management’s retirement was approaching, the family started to plan a solution enabling a generation shift and securing the resources needed in further developing the business. Harvia started looking for a reliable partner that would support the growth of a successful company without changing its core. CapMan’s long experience in equivalent situations was the key factor why Harvia chose CapMan as its growth partner: “Our goal is to be in shape for the Stock Exchange in five years’ time. CapMan has a lot of expertise in achieving this goal. In addition, CapMan has a long experience in assisting Finnish family companies in generation shift processes and is easy to work with,” commented Pertti Harvia about their choice in spring 2014.
CapMan has a long experience in assisting Finnish family companies in generation shift processes and is easy to work with
CapMan acquired 72% of Harvia’s shares in 2014. Harvia’s current owners remained important minority owners and the Harvia family and the key employees were offered the opportunity to invest in the company.
“Harvia fits our investment strategy very well. The company is a market leader in its industry and exceptionally well managed. It also has a strong corporate culture, a respected brand and loyal customers. Harvia’s success is based on its competent staff, efficient production and excellent R&D. We are happy about the opportunity to support Harvia’s growth and to further develop the company together with Harvia family,” said Anders Björkell, Partner at CapMan Buyout and responsible for the investment in the spring 2014.
Today, Harvia is world's leading sauna heater manufacturer with exports to over 85 countries. Harvia operates in Muurame, central Finland and, in addition, it has its own production sites in China, Romania and Estonia and a contract manufacturing partner in Russia.
Harvia’s success is based on its competent staff, efficient production and excellent R&D
CapMan’s goal is to support Harvia’s growth and bring the company to the next level
CapMan’s investment in 2014 enabled a partial generation shift, making the necessary investments and bringing the company to the next level. Harvia’s growth strategy, drawn up together with the other owners of Harvia, is based on driving the company’s internationalisation, expanding its sales channels and strengthening its brand and marketing. In addition, exports to other Western countries have been increased significantly and local production has been started in Russia. Furthermore, Harvia’s product offering has been expanded by acquiring Austrian Sentiotec, expanding the offering to control units and infrared saunas, and by acquiring Spa Modules, an Estonian company specialised in spa and steam rooms.
Thanks to Harvia’s strong brand and the management’s possibility to invest in Harvia, the company has been able to draw talented leaders to accelerate its growth, also enabling a flexible retirement for the original owners.
Strong market position and well-known brand pave the way for future growth
Megatrends supporting Harvia’s future growth are clear. Healthcare and wellness markets are growing, travelling is increasing and the purchasing power of the aging population in the Western countries is focusing around wellness and the home. At the same time, the role of wellbeing as the key driver of consumer behaviour is growing.
According to medical research, sauna has a large impact on wellbeing. In 2015, the cardiological research of Eastern Finland’s university proved for the first time that the risk for of sudden cardiac death was 60% lower for those who often had visited sauna compared to those who rarely had visit sauna. The research suggested that sauna decreases coronary heart disease and death due to other cardiovascular diseases.
Growing quality consciousness and the will to invest in premium saunas strengthen Harvia’s market position. Thanks to its strong brand, the company has become consumers’ first choice and the leading sauna heater manufacturer globally. Harvia has an established market position in the three large sauna markets: in Finland, where the steady growth continues, in Russia, where sauna culture is very strong and widely spread and in German-speaking region which was strenthen by the aquistion of Sentiotec. In addition, Harvia is continuously expanding exports to, among others, Western countries and the Middle East, where the demand for saunas is growing.