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Rouse expands in Sweden in first PE-era deal

Stockholm old town (Gamla Stan) cityscape from City Hall top, Sw

Just months after receiving private equity investment, Rouse has bought Swedish IP firm Valea

Rouse has expanded its presence in Sweden with the acquisition of intellectual property firm Valea, the two companies announced today, December 14.

Valea has more than 70 staff across its three offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö.

Its client base is made up primarily of medium-to-large Swedish-based multinationals such as Volvo, Ericsson, and manufacturing company SKF.

The Valea deal is the first acquisition Rouse has made since it sold a significant minority stake – believed to be in the region of 35% – to UK private equity investor MML Capital in July.

Andrew Hammond, founding partner at Valea who will now head Rouse’s patent operations in Sweden, said MML’s investment had made the deal an easier sell to Valea partners.

 “To be able to say that Rouse’s long-term strategy has attracted the endorsement of private equity has meant a lot,” Hammond said.

Speaking to Managing IP on Tuesday, December 13, Rouse chief executive Luke Minford said Valea’s legal services business would strengthen the group’s offering in Sweden.

“We haven’t had a top-quality patent and trademark attorney business in Sweden, so Valea is a strategic fit,” Minford said.

Rouse bought Swedish IP consultancy IPQ in 2019, its first foray into the country.

Sara Holder, head of M&A at Rouse, said the group’s short-term focus would be on expansion in the regions where it already has a base.

The company has a significant presence in south-east Asia, with offices in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The leadership of Valea and Rouse were also of similar minds on the need for consolidation and streamlining in the IP services market.

“Our clients won’t need to negotiate with an independent law firm in the Philippines or Thailand because Rouse can offer a one-stop shop that can solve all those problems.

“It must be the way forward,” Hammond said.

Minford agreed there was an appetite from clients for global service providers.

Minford said it wasn’t necessary for multinational companies to have so many local advisers with a distinct approach in each jurisdiction.

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