Dealmakers Warm Up to Scandinavia

In frozen Europe, investors take a look at booming Nordic companies
“Money always flows to the safe haven” Photo illustration by 731; Photograph by Dave Moorhouse/Getty Images

While Southern Europe struggles to bring in foreign money for mergers and acquisitions, the Nordic region is on fire. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland have seen about $288 billion in deals since the financial meltdown began in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That puts the region, with a population of about 26 million, well ahead of countries such as Spain, which has about 47 million, and Italy, home to about 61 million. “If I’m selling a business with lots of exposure to France, the interest goes down fast,” says Kristian Terling, who handles the Nordic business in the London office of Los Angeles-based investment bank Houlihan Lokey. “I say ‘Sweden,’ the mood softens.”

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