In the late 2000s, Pekka Salomaa, Teppo Grén, Marko Mäkimartti, and Timo Väyliö worked with the Keljonlahti power plant project in Jyväskylä through their companies – and started to consider joining forces. Former colleagues Timo-Pekka Aaltonen and Pekka Korhonen joined the discussion.
“The idea behind it was that we could jointly put together and offer more extensive packages for various projects. In 2009, we held a meeting in Mikkeli and Fimpec Oy got off the ground”, says Teppo Grén, who became Fimpec’s CEO in September 2017. Before him, Pekka Salomaa, now Chairman of the Board of the company, served as the CEO.
The company’s background was promising, since all of the partners were experienced and well known in the field, with good contact networks both in Finland and abroad. For example, between them, the six partners had carried out projects in 37 countries.
The journey together began in Keljonlahti
The first project in which Fimpec participated was construction of the Keljonlahti power plant; the new company was responsible for procurement activities organisation and construction management tasks. From the very beginning, Fimpec participated in some well-known projects, such as construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant, where Fimpec functioned as Claim/Contract Manager in the initial phase.
After this, many consecutive projects followed in Finland and abroad: Stora Enso cardboard mill in Poland, forest industry and power plant projects in Russia, Kittilä gold mine, Kotkamills Oy’s Flying Eagle projects, Husum cardboard machine rebuilding project in Sweden, Riikinvoima Ekovoimalaitos in Leppävirta, …
A turning point was the Andritz Punta Pereira S.A’s pulp mill project in Montes del Plata, Uruguay, where Fimpec was responsible for construction site management. The large project boosted Fimpec’s turnover to about two million euros in 2014.
The next step was taken in 2015, when Fimpec’s turnover reached five million euros. This was associated with launching of Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill project in Äänekoski. Fimpec was responsible for management and supervision of bioproduct mill construction works, as well as for management and supervision of equipment installations. In all, 30 Fimpec employees participated in the project.
“It was a truly big and significant project for Fimpec. From the company’s viewpoint, it is also important that the operation has remained on the same level since the huge project was completed in 2017. In 2018, our turnover reached nearly seven million euros”, Grén says.
The range of services expanded in the second half of the 2010s
As can be seen from the aforementioned examples, Fimpec’s operation and special skills of the founders are still tied to investment projects for forest and energy industries. However, from the very beginning, Fimpec has also been involved in real estate construction.
The first projects were the Forum shopping centre and Väistö4 Sädesairaala (radiotherapy clinic) in Jyväskylä, the Suomalaistentie business centre in Espoo, reconstruction of Arkadiankatu buildings, and distillery of The Helsinki Distilling Company in Helsinki. Since then, we have participated in construction and renovation projects of numerous business and office premises, schools, residential buildings, and warehouses.
Especially since the latter half of the 2010s, Fimpec has also been deliberately seeking growth from business premises construction management and real estate development. It was separated into a standalone business area led by Mikko Turunen since August 2018.
In 2016, Fimpec expanded its business to involve infrastructure construction management and building services. Both were natural additions to earlier activity. There was demand for infrastructure construction management-related expertise in large industrial investment projects; it also allowed expanding the activity into new areas. Management of the new business area was entrusted to Jorma Paananen. Building services were obtained through an asset deal from Kuulcon Oy; Timo Kuulasmaa, the owner of the company, was about to retire. Building services are managed by Jari Koskela.
The growth and service range expansion of Fimpec has also resulted in establishment of new offices. The company’s domicile is Jyväskylä, but in 2015, an office was established in Helsinki as well. The office is managed by Jarno Rannikko. Since July 2017, Fimpec has had a subsidiary in Uruguay, Fimpec Uruguay S.A.
A growth company following its own path
Fimpec Oy was originally founded as a marketing company of its owners, but from the very beginning, the intention was to grow. Indeed, the company has grown fast over the first ten years, since in spring 2019, it already employed about 60 experts, the turnover had multiplied as compared to the initial, and Fimpec had become one of the leading companies in its field.
“The success has been driven by top-grade personnel committed to the customer’s objectives and sophisticated service concepts arising from a Lean-based operating model. The customers appreciate them and are prepared to order them from us. Also, Fimpec is considered an interesting and good employer, and this has brought us skilled workers. We have strived to maintain this reputation from the very start, by taking good care of our staff and providing them with a framework for successful performance of their work tasks”, says Grén, CEO.
New ownership ensures growth and development
In February 2019, Fimpec Oy entered a new phase when the founding shareholders sold the company to the Smaragdus group managed by Helmet Capital. Fimpec’s activity was not affected by this change of ownership; it continues to operate as a separate company.
Of Fimpec’s former owners, Timo-Pekka Aaltonen, Teppo Grén, Marko Mäkimartti, and Pekka Salomaa continued to work for the company; they are also notable shareholders in the new group. Grén continued as the CEO and Salomaa as the Chairman of the Board of Fimpec. Other Fimpec key personnel also became shareholders.
“By this solution, we wanted to ensure the continued growth and development of Fimpec. It lays the foundation for more extensive range of Fimpec services. At the same time, we needed to consider that some of the original owners are about to reach the retirement age”, says Grén.