Ekspress Grupp diversified its media empire using iDeals to streamline M&A
Ekspress Grupp, the leading media group in the Baltic States, owns over 20 companies across three countries, along with several portals and companies offering digital entertainment solutions.
They are consistently seeking new opportunities to expand their reach, drive success, and grow their digital revenues and in 2018, the group aimed to pursue several M&A deals and a diversification strategy, but encountered a challenge.
They required a secure and efficient platform to manage communication with potential customers and cooperation partners. The company reached out to iDeals, a virtual data room that has proven to be a valuable asset to the company’s growth strategy.
Ekspress Grupp’s most recent acquisition using iDeals was Irytas, one of Lithuania’s largest local news portals. According to Ekspress Grupp’s CFO, Signe Kukin, using iDeals is “a crucial step in our strategy to grow our digital media business.”
The story of Ekspress began in Estonia in 1989, with the launch of its popular weekly newspaper, Eesti Ekspress. The company quickly expanded and was renamed AS Ekspress Grupp in 1998. Today, they are the primary influencers in their home markets’ public sphere.
Over the last five years, the group has implemented a diversification strategy with a strong emphasis on digital business.
They have expanded into businesses that are not directly related to media but could potentially offer significant synergies with their core business. The primary objective is to consolidate their core activities and increase their return on capital.
To diversify, Ekspress Grupp was considering many acquisitions, as well as planning to dispose of their printing house. The group realized that they would need a secure platform to manage the bidding process efficiently and securely.
“As a seller, you need good accessibility and administration rights to check what people are viewing,” Kukin explained.
When comparing VDR providers, they focused on features that would provide them with:
- Controlled granular permissions for different bidders.
- An in-built communications management system.
- Real-time tracking of who accessed what and when.
With iDeals, Ekspress Grupp was able to:
- Set up a secure data room for each of their projects.
- Create groups for their many users and amend them.
- Receive instant email notifications to gauge the level of interest from bidders.
- Count on comprehensive customer support with videos and live instructions.
And when the deals were closed, they could systematically be archived onto flash drives that were dispatched as soon as ordered.
Within the last five years, Ekspress Grupp successfully acquired several companies, including Biļešu Paradīze, Altero, and Linna Ekraanid. Their latest acquisition was Irytas, a leading local news portal in Lithuania, “iDeals works brilliantly,” Kukin affirms.
The CFO recommends iDeals to other companies, as she finds the system very easy to use. “Even for new users, the help available makes it very straightforward.”
Her top three reasons for promoting iDeals are:
- Confidence that the data is secure with the 2FA.
- Control of the flexible permission levels.
- Immediate email notifications on activity.
Ekspress Grupp continues to expand through making strategic acquisitions. Kukin is sure that there will be something interesting in store for 2023 as well.