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Centre of Know-How to Assist in Public Sector Development New Consultant Group Emerges in Finland

PRESS RELEASE
4.2.2005

The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (Suomen kuntaliitto) and Helsinki University Holding Ltd have today signed intention and shareholder agreements leading to a merger between the operations of Suunnittelukeskus Oy – Plancenter Ltd, Efeko Ltd, and Helsinki Consulting Group Ltd, under a new human resources development and consulting corporation, FCG, Finnish Consulting Group.

The new group has a unique selection of services. It incorporates management consultancy, planning and design of investment projects, and international development consultancy. It can provide professional project management services and comprehensive technical, financial, administrative and corporate management services.

The FCG Group creates a strong centre of know-how and expertise in Finland that especially assists the public sector in achieving improved cost efficiency objectives. The Group also provides services to the private sector.

The merger will be implemented through the stock exchange. The new group employs a staff of over 500 and turnover of €70 Million. The Group operates both in Finland and internationally. International operations will account for approximately 40% of the turnover. The Group will commence operations on September 1, 2005.

The shareholders of the company will be the current owners of the respective companies. The major shareholders will be The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Helsinki University Holding Ltd, the Board of Education of Finland, the Tapiola Group, and Nordea Capital. Several universities, municipalities and public health districts are minority shareholders. The owners are committed to the long-term development of the FCG Group.

The companies of the Group, Plancenter Ltd, Helsinki Consulting Group Ltd, and the newly created Efeko Ltd are jointly responsible for the specialist services of the Group. Support services will be centralised as appropriate.

Efeko Ltd, owned mainly by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, is mainly responsible for training and consulting services in institutional and management development in all sectors of public administration. Efeko Ltd was created at the beginning of this year, 2005, when Local Government Training Ltd and Efektia Ltd were merged. Efeko Ltd has a daughter company, Suomen Terveystutkimus Oy (Finnish Health Survey Ltd). The number of professional staff of the Efeko Group is approximately 150.

The international development consultancy of FCG Group will be concentrated in the Helsinki Consulting Group. The operations of HCG continue to include development of public administration as well as consulting in the social, health, educational and environmental sectors. In addition to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the main clientele of HCG will include international financial institutions. HCG’s share of the Group’s turnover will be approximately one third. The operations are based on the strong network of international experts. The number of permanent staff is approximately 50. HCG has daughter companies and part-owned companies in several countries.

Plancenter Ltd continues as a service provider in the architecture and engineering sectors. Plancenter Ltd is the Finnish market leader in water, sanitation and environmental consulting and land use and development planning. The company is also strong in other sectors, such as the planning and design of municipal engineering, roads and traffic, and buildings for the social and healthcare sectors. Plancenter Ltd employs approximately 320 professionals in infrastructure planning. The company has permanent offices in ten locations in Finland and has several project offices in other countries. Approximately one third of the turnover has come from international projects. In the new group, Plancenter Ltd will carry out projects both in Finland and internationally.

The FCG Group also has significant minority share holdings. The most important of those are a one third share of Copenhagen Development Consulting A/S of Denmark and a 40% share of HAUS Kehittämiskeskus Oy of Finland, part of the Finnish Institute of Public Management, internationally known as HAUS International. These companies strengthen the Group especially in management training and international development consulting.

The management of the Group is formed from the current managers of the respective companies. The Managing Director of the Group is Mr. Seppo Mäki, Managing Director of Plancenter Ltd. He will continue, for the present, as Plancenter’s Managing Director. The Deputy Managing Directors of the FCG Group will be Dr. Pentti Yletyinen, who will continue as the Managing Director of HCG Ltd, and Mr. Ari Kolehmainen, who will continue as the Managing Director of Efeko Ltd.

Mr. Risto Parjanne, the Managing Director of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, notes that the Association’s objective, through this merger, was to create a strong concentration of know-how that can provide an even better response to the growing challenges faced by municipalities. In particular, the public sector can now be more efficiently developed through training and consulting. The aim is also to provide a business-oriented aspect to the production of public services. The Association is committed to the long-term development of the new company and its products.

According to the Chairman of the Board of HCG, Professor Paavo Uronen, the companies supplement each others’ fields of expertise in an excellent way, providing significant benefits in scale and synergy. He considers that the universities involved will get better opportunities to utilise their capabilities especially in international activities.

The managing directors of the new group note that this arrangement creates a completely new type of operator in the market. It can provide all the services expertise that the public sector requires for developing new operational models with the aim of maintaining a welfare society whilst utilising available resources. The emergent service provider also promotes increased resources and investment in the development of new service products. The Group is an established, credible and reputable international player. Its development will continue both by organic growth and acquisition.

Additional information:
Mr. Seppo Mäki, Managing Director tel. +358 400 – 210 219
Dr. Pentti Yletyinen, Managing Director tel. +358 40 – 550 94 14
Mr. Ari Kolehmainen, Managing Director tel. +358 500 – 43 98 82

Markku Oksanen (markku.oksanen a fcg.fi), Feb 4th 2005



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