Strengthening Nordic Leadership through Strategic M&As

Technological innovation, customer consolidation, and increased regulation are hallmarks of today’s eHealth landscape. While these markets trends bring challenges, they also offer unprecedented opportunities for companies to thrive, expanding their product offerings and the markets they serve.

Over the past five years, CSAM transformed its business model to meet the needs of this evolving eHealth marketplace. The company reshaped its offerings, focusing on niche software solutions, and implemented a new strategic framework founded on two fundamental pillars for long-term growth: organic sales and select mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

Today, the company’s results speak to the success of this focus. CSAM has strategically acquired companies with strong product offerings in select domains that broadened their reach to new markets and customers, leading to a 38 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2015 and 2018.

CSAM’s results are due in part to an active and dynamic M&A strategy that allows the company to move quickly in acquiring appropriate targets that fit their business model.

– CSAM’s well-developed acquisition strategy is a vital component of the organisation’s past success and future growth, said Glenn Kenneth Bruun, CSAM’s Chief Strategy Officer. – M&As complement our organic sales strategy by expanding our offerings in strategically organised verticals and niches, delivering exponential growth across our range of solutions and markets.

Customers, Code & Competence

CSAM’s active M&A strategy means the company is consistently pursuing a number of short term and long-term discussions with potential partners. After successfully acquiring and integrating several leading businesses over the past five years, more and more companies are approaching CSAM as a future home for their solutions, customers and employees.

– CSAM looks for a winning combination of customers, code and competence that are a fit with our long-term strategic goals, said Bruun.

Companies must have a certain market position, with an existing customer base that is capable of producing recurring revenues. They also need to have ownership rights for their specialised software code because CSAM owns the intellectual property (IP) rights to all of its niche software solutions.

Last but certainly not least is a roster of competent employees who have complementary or required expertise in the domain area. CSAM places a high priority of acquiring and continuously developing talented and high performing teams.

– Once a company fits all of our criteria, the real work begins. It’s a robust process of valuation, negotiation, and financing to ensure all of the pieces come together, said Einar Bonnevie, CSAM CFO.

Buy, Integrate, & Build

CSAM has successfully pursued several acquisitions that have added new talent, products and customers to the business. However, the company’s strategy is not simply to buy an organisation and build it as a stand-alone business. Rather, CSAM employs a unique approach – buy, integrate, and build – meaning the acquired company is fully integrated into CSAM’s operations as part of one organisation.

– CSAM is well established at integrating acquired companies while maintaining what made those companies great – innovative solutions, satisfied customers and highly specialised teams, said Bonnevie. – Simultaneously, we use our shared services and resources, such as our development and testing organisation in the Philippines, to deliver strong financial results.

CSAM’s buy, integrate and build strategy has demonstrated success for the company over the past several years.

In 2015, CSAM entered the emergency and acute domain with the acquisition of AMIS, a market leader in Norway. Today, CSAM delivers this critical response software to all of the Emergency Medical Communication Centres in that country, with an increasing number of municipalities adopting the solution.

At the same time as the AMIS acquisition, CSAM was in discussions with Saab regarding the company’s Paratus emergency response business, the market leader in Sweden. CSAM eventually acquired the Paratus business in 2018, gaining new customers, including 18 of 21 healthcare regions in Sweden. The acquisition not only increased CSAM’s portfolio and market position but introduced new opportunities for synergies between the two products. Together with its AMIS suite of solutions, CSAM is now the only company with a full-scale offering in emergency health, from the call centre to ambulance to the emergency room.

In 2016, CSAM acquired Finnish company Mawell’s eSystems business. The same year, the company purchased MediWare, a leading provider of maternity systems in Finland. With these two acquisitions, CSAM became the leading eHealth provider in the Nordic Maternity niche, adding new products and enhancing its existing products with a cloud solution. The acquisitions also grew CSAM’s footprint, giving the company a significant presence in the Finnish market.

One year later CSAM acquired ProSang, the leading blood, cell and tissue management system in Scandinavia. With this integration, CSAM expanded into a new domain, laboratory information management systems (LIMS), broadening its suite of niche software offerings and expanding its customer base across the Nordics.
Enduring Strategy for Growth

M&As are a valuable component of CSAM’s strategic plan over the next five years as the company continues to pursue its ambitious goals.

– CSAM has developed a keen ability to find the right products at the right time in the right markets, said Bruun. – Each carefully selected acquisition allows us to expand our portfolio of solutions and export our products to new markets.

The company’s M&A strategy also has a significant benefit for the healthcare system, providers and patients.

– When CSAM acquires and integrates these businesses, it provides us with the meaningful opportunity to ensure that the company’s highly specialised solutions remain available to the customers and patients who rely on them, added Bonnevie.

CSAM continues to pursue acquisitions that fit the company’s long-term strategy for growth and strengthen its position as the leading provider of niche eHealth solutions in the Nordics.

Photo: Einar Bonnevie, CSAM CFO and Glenn Kenneth Bruun, CSAM Chief Strategy Officer

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