Patria has an ambitious growth strategy. The international defense and technology company with over 100 years of experience is seeking global growth – partly via acquisitions.
“In the prevailing world situation, there is significant demand for defense and security services, products, and expertise. Our strategy aims for strong growth in international markets. Finland is and will of course remain our key market”, says Patria’s Vice President, Strategy and M&A Erik Ahnger.
“In international growth, we are placing particular emphasis on service solutions. In Finland, we are strong in this field. To build growth in service business in the global market, we need to look for inorganic growth as well, which means that interesting acquisition opportunities are certainly on the table,” states Ahnger.
Ahnger participated in Aalto EE’s Mergers & Acquisitions program to find new perspectives on for example synergy and value creation in business acquisitions.
“The M&A program provided a solid combination of theory and practice. It convinced me that we are on the right track with Patria’s M&A process development,” Ahnger underlines.
The main focus is on discussions and the interaction between instructors, attention-grabbing guest speakers and participants. It’s an excellent way to learn.
“Above all, the program broadened my perspective. It also introduced valuable ideas and validated many of my own thoughts regarding integration processes.”
Aalto EE and Patria have a long-standing collaboration
Ahnger has worked at Patria for approximately four years. Before moving to the defense sector, Ahnger worked in private equity and management consulting.
“At Patria, my main areas of responsibility are group strategy and corporate development,” Ahnger says.
“The best thing about my role is collaboration. I get to work with a marvelous, diverse group of people, jointly cultivate our targets and ambitions – and see our company grow. As Patria, we build common security, and every Patria employee can make a difference,” Ahnger describes.
During the course of his career, Ahnger has participated in many acquisitions, both at Patria and in the private equity sector.
“I have accumulated many insights about business acquisitions over the years, but my educational background is in technology – I have a master’s degree in engineering. Consequently, all my expertise related to business acquisitions has come through work,” Ahnger explains.
“I decided to enroll in Aalto EE’s M&A program primarily to expand my own thinking and get new ideas. I am an avid supporter of lifewide learning: it is always a good idea to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.”
Aalto EE was already familiar to Ahnger, as Patria has cooperated with Aalto EE for a long time.
The M&A program provided a solid combination of theory and practice. It convinced me that we are on the right track with Patria’s M&A process development.
“I participated in a year-long leadership coaching that was tailored for Patria by Aalto EE. I knew that with Aalto EE, you can rest assured that everything will be handled expertly. Aalto EE always has invigorating instructors who have interesting insights to share,” Ahnger remarks.
A broader perspective through rewarding discussions
Ahnger says that he especially enjoyed the conversational method of teaching in the Mergers & Acquisitions program.
“Anyone can increase their knowledge through reading books, but if you want to genuinely internalize and comprehend complex topics, you have to share your thoughts with others and actively seek both common ground and counter arguments to evolve your thinking,” Ahnger emphasizes.
“In Aalto EE’s programs, the main focus is on discussions and the interaction between instructors, attention-grabbing guest speakers and participants. It’s an excellent way to learn,” he adds.
“The M&A program had participants from very different backgrounds, which significantly enlivened our discussions. It was rewarding to exchange ideas with people who had very different thought processes than I do – you inevitably learn a great deal in such diverse company,” Ahnger explains.
Ahnger says that the program provided him with useful ideas about what Patria should focus on in the future.
“For example, I plan to analyze how we can create synergy through the key competencies of acquired companies in even more detail from now on,” Ahnger mentions.
Ahnger says he is pleased to endorse the Mergers & Acquisitions program.
“It was a very useful program, which helped me concretely promote issues I have on my desk at Patria,” he affirms.
“I recommend participating. You won't be glancing at your watch during this program. Time flies by when you are broadening your horizons, discussing interesting topics with interesting people,” Ahnger concludes.