Ingman Group, a Finnish family-owned investment company, has taken over a majority stake in Halti, the Finnish ski and outdoor apparel brand. Ingman acquired the shares held since 2004 by another capital investment firm, 3i, which was the largest stake in Halti but still made up just under half of its capital. Then, Ingman expanded that stake to just over half of the Finnish company by acquiring some more Halti shares from managers. Other large shareholders are members of Halti's supervisory board and its executive board, led since 2009 by Martti Uusitalo.
In the eight years that 3i held the largest stake in Halti, the Finnish company managed to double its global sales by expanding its international business, and to improve its financial situation with a round of cutbacks four years ago. While Halti's international drive suffered some setbacks, particularly the ill-fated launch of a Swedish subsidiary, it obtained endorsement deals that secured international exposure and gained shelf space in central European countries.
Back in 2004, Halti's turnover reached about €15 million, and 95 percent of the sales came from the Finnish market. By 2011, the turnover had increased to nearly €30.5 million, with €25 million coming from the Halti brand itself and the remaining €5.5 million from Raiski, a cheaper brand of ski and outdoor wear with a stronger focus on the Finnish market. Only about 20 percent of Raiski's sales were generated outside Finland last year, but that share has increased to 35 percent for the Halti brand.
Ingman Group is a relatively small investment firm with capital built on the family's former dairy business. Halti is the only company in which it holds a majority stake. Ingman Group said it would be represented on Halti's supervisory board with three out of its five members. The chairmanship will go to Robert Ingman, head of the group, who said he was satisfied with the current management and strategy, and would not seek to make any significant changes as yet.