The widely considered 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. Harvia chose CapMan as its growth partner and majority owner in 2014. Harvia was listed on Helsinki Stock Exchange on 21st of March 2018. The funds managed by CapMan remained as significant shareholders with approximately 25% shareholding.
"CapMan invested in Harvia four years ago and already then we saw an IPO as an attractive opportunity for the company. We have developed Harvia towards this objective by strengthening the management, investing in international growth, both organically and through acquisitions, and by developing processes and reporting to the level required from a publicly listed company. I want to thank the management and whole personnel for their excellent work. CapMan remains as a significant shareholder after the IPO and I am confident that Harvia has a very good basis to continue executing its strategy successfully as a stock exchange listed company," commented Anders Björkell, Partner at CapMan Buyout, in connection with the IPO in the spring 2018.
Today, Harvia is one of the world's leading sauna heater manufacturer measured by revenue, 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 is one of the leading companies operating today in the sauna and spa market. The direction earlier set by the Harvia family combined with the motivated and competent personnel and the know-how and support of the CapMan team, have together successfully developed Harvia into a stock-listed company. Tapio Pajuharju, CEO, Harvia Plc
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 also 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. Harvia is the most often recognised international sauna brand among Finnish, Swedish, German, Russian and American consumers (International Management Consultant Analysis in autumn 2017). Harvia has an established market position in two large sauna markets: in Finland, where the steady growth continues, and in Russia, where sauna culture is very strong and widely spread. In addition, Harvia is continuously expanding exports to, among others, Western countries and the Middle East, where the demand for saunas is growing.