Where did it all begin?
The current PHM Group Oy is was built on a foundation laid by two companies called KH Kiinteistöpalvelut Oy and Porvoon Huoltomiehet Oy. Founded in 1989, KH Kiinteistöpalvelut Oy – later known as Kotikatu – started to provide property maintenance services as a small local operator. The company, founded by Kimmo Helasuo and Timo Kaisla, grew during its first year of operation to serve about ten buildings. Gradually, the company involved in its operations new small property maintenance entrepreneurs, all of whom operated in their own area and managed their customer properties locally. Local presence is still an essential part of PHM Group’s way of working.
Porvoon Huoltomiehet Oy, founded in 1992 during the depression, was originally built by Mika Uusi-Simola, who focused on both property maintenance and industrial cleaning.In 2014, the current CEO of PHM Group, Ville Rantala, bought half of the company and set out to develop and grow the company together with Uusi-Simola.
The first acquisition to develop and expand Porvoon Huoltomiehet Oy’s property maintenance business in South-Eastern Finland was made in 2015 when Kotkan Kiinteistöpalvelu Oy was acquired to become part of the growing company. As is characteristic of PHM Group, the entrepreneur and former owner of Kotkan Kiinteistöpalvelut Oy is still a shareholder in PHM Group. In the same year, the company also expanded to Lappeenranta. The idea was to ensure that the units were close enough to each other geographically, improving the company’s ability to provide services as well as its efficiency through optimisation of equipment and personnel. The people and the equipment went where they were needed.
The three core ideas of the two companies continue to play a key role in PHM Group’s operations: local presence, entrepreneur-driven operations and efficiency in the resourcing of both equipment and people.
PHM Group and Kotikatu continued to grow over the years, both organically and through new local companies and entrepreneurs. In 2015, Kotikatu got more support for its growth after the private equity firm Vaaka Partners acquired the company. Porvoon Huoltomiehet Oy sold its industrial cleaning business in 2017 to focus on its property maintenance business.
Intera Partners started supporting PHM Group’s growth in 2018
In 2018, Intera Partners, a private equity firm, approached the management of PHM Group and offered it the opportunity to grow the business with the support of Intera Partners. In October 2018, Intera Partners became the majority owner of PHM Group, which was bringing in a revenue of about EUR 40 million at the time. This started a new phase in the company’s growth.
With the entry of Intera Partners, PHM Group began to grow rapidly. Over the next three months, five new companies were acquired and the company also expanded to larger cities including Lahti, Mikkeli and Vaasa. A new company was also acquired in Helsinki. PHM Group’s revenue quickly reached EUR 60 million. In 2019, PHM Group entered the Swedish market by acquiring four companies and achieved a revenue of more than EUR 35 million on the market. The growth towards expansion to other Nordic countries had begun.
Kotikatu, which had expanded especially in the capital region, had become the largest operator in the industry in Finland, and its network of entrepreneurs covered the capital region in particular, while PHM Group focused on smaller cities and wider geographical coverage nationwide. Together, PHM Group and Kotikatu formed an attractive package and an extensive network of property maintenance service providers that was based on entrepreneur-driven operations.
Norwegian Norvestor became the majority owner of PHM Group in 2020
In March 2020, when PHM Group’s revenue amounted to about EUR 120 million, the Norwegian private equity firm Norvestor acquired the majority of PHM Group from Intera Partners. PHM Group’s revenue had tripled during Intera Partners’ ownership. At the same time, Kotikatu, owned by Vaaka Partners, was also up for sale. In September 2020, PHM acquired Kotikatu, thus merging the two major companies in the industry into PHM Group.
Norvestor’s ownership has provided PHM Group with very strong support for growth. Growth has been achieved by expanding the business through acquisitions to the Norwegian market in September 2020 and to the Danish market in April 2021. In addition, several acquisitions have been made in Sweden and Finland during Norvestor’s ownership. In the future, PHM Group will continue to aim for growth in the Nordic countries through acquisitions, especially in the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish markets.
2021 was a year of significant growth for PHM Group. At the start of the year, the company’s budgeted revenue was EUR 268 million. However, the company ended the year with a like-for-like revenue of EUR 417 million. Currently, about 60% of the company’s revenue is generated in Finland, about 30% in Sweden and about 10% in Norway and Denmark.
Entrepreneur-driven, responsible and local partner for its customers
The responsibility work and administrative synergies of PHM Group have developed significantly since the involvement of private equity firms. At the same time, PHM Group continues to implement entrepreneur-driven operations and local practices, which it has used from the time it was founded. For the entrepreneurs who join the Group, this ensures a motivating way to continue managing your own unit and owning PHM Group. According to the entrepreneurs we work with, the local and entrepreneurial approach is one of the best aspects of joining PHM Group.
For employees, local presence and the preservation of entrepreneur-driven operations provide high-quality and familiar local leadership. PHM Group’s customers also appreciate a model where a safe and reliable local company continues to take care of property maintenance as usual. In entrepreneur-driven operations, responsibility, as well as other development projects serving the PHM Group’s network, have been brought to the everyday life of entrepreneurs to support and assist them, so that the field can focus on providing high-quality property maintenance services and ensuring customer satisfaction.