Based on the data as at the end of 2019, Eesti Energia, Tallink Grupp and Swedbank were ranked top three in the latest TOP101 Estonia’s Most Valuable Enterprises compiled by M&A advisory company Prudentia and Nasdaq Tallinn. Although we won’t see the full impact of the coronavirus this year, the enterprise value of last year’s winner Tallink has already fallen by 31% and the value of Swedbank by 27%. At the same time, Eesti Energia managed to increase its value by 28% year-on-year, mainly due to growing renewable energy production and the purchase of Nelja Energia.
The first TOP101 Estonia’s Most Valuable Enterprises ranking was compiled by Prudentia and Nasdaq Tallinn at the end of 2019 on the basis of 2018 data and it was published in April this year during the corona quarantine. The goal of the ranking compiled on the basis of the annual reports of Estonian enterprises and the entire project is to create a public debate on corporate value and the creation of value in a wider sense.
Hando Sutter, Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Energia, the winner of the 2020 TOP101, noted that the recognition offers joy to Eesti Energia employees and the owner of the company. “People are our most valuable assets and the foundation of our success. In the last few years, the company has undergone a tremendous change. In spite of that we have been able to maintain our revenue and profitability, which makes the prize especially valuable.” Commenting on the company’s future goals, Sutter said: “Eesti Energia is growing into a service company and is bringing more and more useful and convenient energy solutions to its customers. We have a plan how to support other sectors and neighbouring countries in meeting environmental challenges through electrification and green energy production.”
According to Illar Kaasik, Managing Partner of Prudentia, the initiator of the TOP101, the 2020 TOP101 clearly shows that the global economic crisis unleashed by the epidemic and market assessments of the prospects of various economic sectors have already made major adjustments to the value of our enterprises. “In compiling the ranking, we work through the data of almost 300 most valuable Estonian companies, and based on them, it can be concluded that a significant part of our large enterprises are in good condition and most of them can battle the COVID-19 crisis,” he explained. “However, the new reality is that the economic environment is changing more and more rapidly, affecting many large and hitherto very successful enterprises while creating unexpectedly fast growth opportunities for new operators. Let’s not forget that there is no financial crisis and therefore rapid and successful takeovers can significantly increase the enterprise value. A good example of this is Eesti Energia, the winner of 2020 TOP101, Eesti Energia.”
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 similar to TOP 101.” Nasdaq’s contribution to the ranking is through analysis of the environmental impact, social responsibility and management transparency of Estonia’s largest enterprises, which today and tomorrow will have a growing impact on both the value of enterprises and their financing costs,” he added.
According to Ots, the indicators may at first seem diffuse, but in fact are very specific such as ESG (Environment, Social, Governance). “Someone may think that this is a passing fad, but I do not see alternatives to achieving cleaner natural environment. The trend towards a more responsible future is obvious, as we can already see today that investments in ESG-compliant enterprises are growing and, more importantly, the world’s largest ESG funds are outperforming the market. Enterprises that do not address these issues today will find it more difficult and expensive to finance their operations in the future. It is not a question of faith, but of the classical function of supply and demand,” said Ots, commenting the market situation.
The full list of the TOP101 Estonia’s Most Valuable Enterprises is available at www.top101.ee . A detailed introduction to the ranking, together with additional materials and interviews, will also be published at Delfi in the TOP101 section.
Illar Kaasik, Managing Partner at Prudentia: mobile 505 1753; e-mail: Illar.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaarel Ots, CEO of Nasdaq Tallinn; mobile 510 5784; e-mail: Kaarel.Ots@nasdaq.com