Indrek Prants: Estonian enterprises must belong to Estonians07.08.2013, 11:42
Estonian businessman Indrek Prants who recently bought out two Estonian companies from a Swedish investment fund says that, if necessary, Estonians must buy back their identity.
In an interview to Eesti Päevaleht, Prants who last week acquired DIY chain Bauhof and MyFitness, a chain of athletics clubs, from Sweden’s Askembla, says that for him, it is more pleasant to buy his groceries from Estonian-owned Selver or Comarket supermarkets rather than from Lithuanian-owned Maxima chain or Finnish-owned Prisma chain.
"By 2000, Estonian businessmen had been working hard for ten years building up their businesses into something that could be sold. We ourselves have sold companies. Recently, I and my friends feel that companies that are important in Estonia should belong to Estonians. I have spoken with many Estonian businessmen and I can assure you that capital has a nationality. The new objective is to keep our enterprises in our ownership.
As Estonian investors we consider it important that Estonian capital also owns Estonian companies. An enterprise belongs to the country where it operates. There have been many companies in Estonia that have been sold to anonymous investment funds. There is nothing wrong with Scandinavian pensioners, but, personally, I would prefer if Estonian businesses belonged to Estonians. I could say that this thinking is now more prevalent than it was ten years ago," said Prants.
Prants was one of the founders of Säästumarket food discounter chain which Finnish-owned Kesko acquired in 2003 for an estimated EUR 30m.