Companies BTI: Male owner Jyrki Hallikainen sold a small stake in his company to two investors before the company’s problems were revealed

According to STT’s information, both buyers feel that Hallikainen misled them by giving misleading information about the company.

Technology company Male owner Jyrki Hallikainen managed to sell pieces of his company before the company collapsed behind the scenes. According to STT’s information, Hallikainen has sold a stake in his company to at least two experienced investors.

Neither of these deals has been in the public eye before, although the company’s management has hinted at more investors. According to STT’s information, both buyers feel that Hallikainen misled them by giving misleading information about the company.

BTI does not know the identity of the buyers, but one of the buyers is a foreign investor resident in Switzerland. BTI has not been able to confirm the nationality of the other investor or the exact percentages of the shares acquired.

Although the holdings sold by Hallikainen were small, the transaction amounts are large for a company whose actual business does not match the wild figures claimed by the company.

Uros Group claimed to have generated a turnover of almost EUR 2.7 billion and an operating profit of approximately EUR 170 million in 2019.

If the technology company’s figures rise from almost zero to that level in just three years, operations look profitable every year, and growth seems to continue, the company’s value is measured in the current techno-humorous billion-dollar class.

Stunning Hallikainen also traded pieces of Uros. STT has not been able to confirm the exact transaction amounts, but the indicative estimate can be calculated, for example, at a valuation level of EUR 1 billion, in which case a percentage of the company would cost EUR 10 million.

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While the total share acquired by investors was possibly higher than in the example, Hallikainen acquired significant assets.

In March, Uros announced that it would move its headquarters from Finland to Switzerland, where it had established a new parent company, Uros Ag, at the end of 2020. In Switzerland, business owners do not have public information. STT cannot tell more about its sources because of their background.

During the autumn and winter, STT has not reached Hallika to comment on the company’s affairs. On Wednesday, Hallikainen answered the phone, but after hearing the matter, announced that he was in traffic and turned off the phone.

Hallikainen is a businessman with an Oulu background who has lived abroad for a long time, first in Belgium and then in Switzerland. During the autumn, Hallikainen has announced his domicile in Liechtenstein. He is likely to pay tax on his capital gains to Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

Hallikainen was one of the founders of Uros in 2011 and owned growth during the years with the company’s family members. The company’s Board of Directors was also held by the family district, and Jyrki Hallikainen served as Chairman of the Board.

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The story of Uros Oy, which now remains a Finnish subsidiary, is probably over. In mid-December, Nordea, Oulun Osuuspankki and the state special finance company Finnvera filed for the bankruptcy of Uros Suomen. The arena sponsorship agreement was terminated in October.

Oulu police suspect Ura of gross aid fraud. The investigation is related to product development loans and grants granted by Business Finland, ie Tekes in 2011–2013.

The male reported a total of hundreds of millions in profits

In In 2018, Uros from Oulu said he had made an operating profit of EUR 120 million. The company’s cash register did not show a tremendous result, but at the end of the year the Group’s cash register was almost empty and had trade receivables of EUR 149 million.

According to STT, the profit from outside the Group was recorded in the non-public financial statements of the company’s Hong Kong subsidiary.

However, the Hong Kong subsidiary did not receive a credible positive cash flow from outside the company, but trade receivables only accumulated and continued to grow. Receivables are, for example, customers’ debts to the company.

Hallikainen at will, the company did not even actively try to collect trade receivables from its customers. In 2019, the Group claimed to have already made a profit of more than EUR 170 million, but no cash came in and the auditor no longer approved the consolidated financial statements.

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The male product development has always been in Oulu. All of the Group’s intellectual property rights belonged to the Luxembourg-based subsidiary Uros Technologies, which invoiced the Hong Kong subsidiary for their use.

The company’s huge profits were thus reflected in the result of the Luxembourg subsidiary, but no significant real money was transferred from Hong Kong to the Luxembourg company and the amount was shown as receivable.

Uros the employees were paid by the company for a decade, but the acquisitions of owner Hallikainen do not benefit them.

For example, according to Uros’ financial statements, the result for 2018 was made by an average of 40 employees, most of them in Oulu. The company paid less than EUR 1.6 million in salaries and ancillary costs, or an average of only EUR 40,000 per employee.

Employees had stock option plans that were, however, tied to the company’s listing or change of control. When Hallikainen sold small shares in the company, the stock option plans did not materialize.

The man said that his operations are built around the so-called Internet of Things, or IoT services. The company also had real customers, but the business was nowhere near the reported figures.

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