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Diverse tastes: Sergej Artemiuk, CEO of ACME Grupe

Sergej Artemiuk, CEO of the Lithuanian diversified holding ACME Grupe, speaks with Acuris Capital Intelligence about its growth and investment plans, as well as the company’s M&A prospects.

Interview by Agne Mazeike

Q. What is your growth outlook for 2021-2022?

Our core business is distribution of information and communications technology products, and the outbreak of the global pandemic pushed up the demand for various consumer electronics, which aided our growth in 2020. 

As the demand for such products remains high, we expect to see growth in a range of 15%-20% this year. Our expectation for 2022 is to keep our sales on a similar level as in 2021, namely at €650 million-plus. We expect the market to be slower starting from the second half of 2022, because consumption levels will return to normal.  

Q. Where are you planning to invest? 

Last year, we started investing in the development of renewable solar and wind energy projects. We plan to invest €20 million to develop our energy business arm this year and in 2022. It looks like a diversification-driven investment, but our goal is to create added value for the group’s existing businesses by investing in the latest technologies, as well as green energy resources and business sustainability. 

Another investment area is the development of real estate projects, where we are finalising a €3 million investment into a local commercial real estate project. We have a plan to invest another €25 million to develop a residential real estate project at the seaside by the end of 2023, using our own capital and bank loans. 

Q. What are your plans for debt refinancing or new debt issuance for the next year?

We will start looking for a partner bank for our residential real estate project in Q1 2022. We already have lending partners for our investment plans in the energy sector. 

On a general note, we aim to invest between €5 million-€10 million of our own capital annually for greenfield development projects and potential M&A. We aim to keep similar investment levels for the next five years. 

Q. What are your plans in terms of M&A? 

We have been analysing various potential acquisition targets, ranging from infrastructure to accounting or publishing businesses, but so far there is a lack of targets that would meet our expectations. We now have two targets with NDAs signed in our pipeline. We are interested in acquisitions to aid the development of our existing businesses through various synergies, including our IT distributor, ACC Distribution; a film distribution, production and marketing specialist, ACME Film; and an operator of natural mines, Draseikiu Karjeras. 

A bit of a background: Founded in 1993 by its board members Tomas Palsis, Stepas Telesius and Stede W. Ingram, ACME Grupe operates in the wholesale trade and repair of various electronic devices, film production and distribution, quarry businesses, real estate and the development and management of renewable energy projects. The company reported consolidated revenue of €584 million in 2020, which is a 40% growth year-on-year. Its net profit grew to €9 million in 2020, up from €4 million in 2019. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.