CapMan Infra: Koiviston Auto

Trailmaker customer CapMan Infra acquires Finland’s leading bus operator

CapMan Infra acquired Finland’s largest bus operator Koiviston Auto in February 2022. The acquisition will lead to rapid electrification of the bus operator’s fleet. Trailmaker’s strategy execution concept was executed in the entry phase to ensure an immediate change of pace and direction.

CapMan Infra is a Nordic infrastructure investor with approximately €500 million in assets under management. The private equity expert invests in energy, transportation and telecommunications infrastructure across the Nordics.

2021 saw the purchase of Koiviston Auto, a Finnish bus company in operation since 1928. The family-owned business is the largest bus operator in Finland with a national network of depots and routes, employing over 2,000 people. Turnover in 2020 was around 175 million euros and the transport operator owned a fleet of around 1,000 buses.

Koiviston Auto has two distinct business segments: contract and market-based bus transport. Ville Poukka, CapMan Infra Managing Partner, says that the contract-based urban bus transportation business was particularly attractive.

“We’ve found the contracted public transportation market to be very interesting in the sense that our assets, such as Koiviston Auto, own critical infrastructure and operate them with long-term contracts.

“On the back of the success we’ve had with Norwegian ferry operator Norled, we’ve looked at the bus transportation market across the Nordics. Koiviston Auto was particularly interesting for us because they owned a large fleet of 1000 buses.

“That’s a large asset base and it’s underpinned by inflation-protected and long-term-capacity-based contracts with public transportation authorities.” In the case of Koiviston Auto, the contract-based business represents around 80% of group revenues.

Tailor-made approach to Koiviston Auto helped by Trailmaker’s expertise

CapMan, says Ville Poukka is an “active owner”, which led to the Nordic investment house requesting the support of Trailmaker immediately after the acquisition of Koiviston Auto. “We are looking at a pace change in the company,” he says, “to bring it to a new level and continue the growth.”

“At CapMan, we worked with Trailmaker before and we knew we were dealing with similar levels of complexity. We wanted to get a handle on the situation and understand Koiviston Auto’s capabilities as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth takeover.

“That’s why we brought Trailmaker in at the entry phase because it’s important to start the work early. Trailmaker is a tool to speed up the process of strategy execution and help get ‘buy in’.

“You’re moving from a ‘business as usual’ situation to driving value and thinking about performance and delivery much more carefully.

“Finding a common strategic view and pushing that change is ongoing, but Trailmaker has helped us establish the initial common view and understand what we agree and disagree on.”

Above all, says Ville Poukka, different types of investment cases require different approaches and CapMan Infra tailors their approach to the asset after the takeover. “Trailmaker helped ensure we took the right approach,” he says.

TRAILMAKER is a concept for faster strategy execution:

• Concrete common view and commitment

• Identified capability needs

• Visibility


Trailmaker customer Koiviston Auto targets growth with CapMan Infra support

In early 2022 Koiviston Auto was acquired by the infrastructure arm of CapMan, a Nordic private asset management and investment company. With the backing of CapMan Infra and input from Trailmaker, Finland’s largest bus operator has been better able to target growth opportunities such as the electrification of its fleet.  

Trailmaker has been involved in Koiviston Auto’s strategy execution since the CapMan Infra acquisition and further progress has been made since new CEO Jyrki Vainionpää joined the company 6 months ago.

According to Vainionpää, Trailmaker made a big contribution after CapMan Infra’s initial purchase of Koiviston Auto, which was important for the long-term development of the company’s strategy. “It made the strategy execution process following my arrival faster,” says Vainionpää, explaining that he was able to hit the ground running.

Koiviston Auto, says Vainionpää, has faced big changes this year, switching from a family-owned company to an infrastructure fund owner. But, he says, having the backing of CapMan Infra leaves Koiviston Auto exceptionally well placed to tackle the biggest challenges head on. Challenges, he explains, include electrification of the fleet and improving efficiency and consistency across the group that includes nine operating companies such as Helsingin Bussiliikenne,, Kuopion Liikenne and Koskilinjat.

In 2022, Koiviston Auto invested 30 million euros in electric buses and charging infrastructure. The electrification of buses is one of the company’s biggest priorities, Vainionpää explains. But “the investment needed to achieve the transformation is very large and few companies are big enough to do this. We are well placed with such an owner, a clear strategy and a good team.”

Trailmaker assists in finding focus and one common view

According to Vainionpää, the asset that Trailmaker brought to the table was the focus required to drive the change. “We were forced to go through things in a structured way. In some ways it’s a highly inflexible process but it worked well for our purposes.”

When you’re the new CEO of a company, says Vainionpää, it’s important to learn, build trust and jointly with the management team create a common vision and goal. “Only after that groundwork, can more detailed execution milestones be defined and consistent execution with real impact be expected. The Trailmaker process helped in building that foundation as well as defining the actual execution milestones.”

Looking to the future, Vainionpää says that one of Koiviston Auto’s focal points will be retaining and attracting employees while strengthening the shift to renewable. “During the Trailmaker process we set a goal to be the best employer in the transport sector and proactively drive towards renewables to cut our CO2 emissions. These are interesting times and it’s a good place to be.


TRAILMAKER is a concept for faster strategy execution:

• Concrete common view and commitment

• Identified capability needs

• Visibility