Based on the data as at the end of 2018, the three first companies in the TOP 101 of Estonia’s Most Valuable Enterprises prepared by Prudentia, an M&A advisory company, and Nasdaq Tallinn, were Tallink Group, Swedbank and Eesti Energia. The global economic crisis accompanied by the coronavirus has currently made extensive adjustments to the value of enterprises, however fixing the pre-crisis values was necessary to make sure that we have a better picture in the following years of the changes and developments on the business landscape.
Prudentia and Nasdaq Tallinn prepared the TOP 101 of Estonia’s Most Valuable Enterprises in the final months of last year, when the world hadn't yet heard anything of the coronavirus that has hit the entire world today and turned the international economy upside down. The idea of the TOP compiled, based on the 2018 annual reports of Estonian enterprises and of the entire project, was to create a public debate on corporate value and the creation of value in a wider sense.
“We are of course very pleased that we are at the very top of this first-ever ranking in Estonia of the most valuable companies – I believe it will provide support and motivation to all our company’s employees during this challenging time and inspire us to work even harder for the future,” Paavo Nõgene, Chairman of the Management Board at Tallink Group commented. “However, it must also be said, that this ranking comes at an extraordinary time, when most Estonian companies are experiencing an unprecedented survival course and none of us is able to predict what this ranking will look like not only next year, but already in the next few months. But the place of a company in any ranking is not of utmost importance right now. What is important is that we will come out of this crisis successfully and that we work together to ensure we get Estonia’s economy back on its feet again. Tallink will do everything in its power to contribute to this as much as possible as we have always done.”
According to Illar Kaasik, the Managing Partner of Prudentia, the initiator of the TOP 101, the current and future TOP 101-s enable a time series of data to be generated, which can be used to analyse the trends and changes through the economic cycles. “Today, the world that we used to know has changed to a large extent and the value of this TOP, besides the nostalgia of remembering the good old days, is just the fact that we have fixed the pre-crisis status of the Estonian economy, similar to hitting a pile into the ground during a flood. In this way it will at least be possible to measure in the coming years, if and to what extent recovery has taken place, and hopefully also development for some companies,” stated Illar Kaasik.
“Although it may seem as if the global economy and Estonia’s economy are both standing on the edge of a cliff or are already in freefall, hopefully we will be able to say in the not too distant future: ‘Jack, goddammit! My feet have touched the ground’. Once the value of most expensive Estonian businesses starts to grow again, tax revenue and average wages across the country will also begin to grow. As Prudentia has also compiled a similar TOP for Latvia, it will be interesting in the future to analyse how changes are taking place in Latvian and Estonian businesses as the economic environment changes, and also in accordance with different national economic policies,” he added.
According to Kaarel Ots, CEO at Nasdaq Tallinn, it is important to also draw attention to the drivers of our economy in a crisis situation. “When assessing the value of an enterprise the most direct feedback mechanism is naturally the fact of whether its shares have been listed. However the first and the most important step on the road of analysing and understanding the value is a data set that is similar to TOP 101.”
“There are people behind every successful business, and despite the worst possible setbacks, it is largely the same people who are behind new or reborn businesses. The future TOP 101-s are moral support, inspiration and recognition for those entrepreneurs who, just like today, are fighting at the forefront of the economy for economic survival and the independence of their businesses, employees, business partners and the entire Estonian country and people,” said Kaarel Ots.
The complete list of the TOP 101 of Estonia’s Most Valuable Enterprises in 2019 is available on the website www.top101.ee. The thorough introduction of the TOP together with additional materials and interviews will also be published in the fresh business magazine Magnaat, compiled by the Eesti Ekspress editorial team.