Palamon Capital makes 3.4x return on exit of Sweden’s Espresso House

European mid-market firm Palamon Capital Partners has sold Swedish coffee chain Espresso House to Norwegian private equity firm Herkules.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Palamon said it made a 3.4 times return on its original investment.

In 2005, Palamon identified a gap in the Nordic markets for a quality, branded coffee bar offering and approached the founders of Espresso House about purchasing a majority interest and initiating a high-growth strategy.

Beginning with 22 outlets in the south of Sweden in 2006, Espresso House purchased a 15 store chain in Stockholm to create a national brand with 37 outlets.

From that base, the company embarked on an organic expansion plan that has taken it to 120 outlets across Sweden, making it the largest chain of wholly-owned branded coffee bars in the Nordic region.

What many of you don't know is that behind this two storefront signs you are passing everyday to work stands the same person - after 6.5 years as a senior designer at Starbucks Creative Studio, Boris Iochev relocated to Oslo in 2002 to leave his mark at leading players such as Espresso House.

Boris Iochev