AEA and Sagard sign tech deals as IDG Capital nears end of French football holding

Vaaka Partners announced the sale of its majority stake in LTP Group to Sponsor Capital.

There’s a bit of a tech flavour to round out the week, with artificial intelligence and automation themes in the deal coverage. We’ve also got a bit of football coverage ahead of the two FIFA World Cup quarter-finals later today.

Artificial intelligence. Sagard NewGen announced a minority investment in Unit8 to “accelerate its next phases of growth”.

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Unit8 is a data services company that aims to help its clients turn data into value with a mix of data science, analytics and AI.

Unit8 has partnered with global companies such as Microsoft, Palantir, Dataiku and AWS. The company is also a “trusted partner” to international large-cap clients based in Europe and North America, including Daimler, Firmenich, Merck and WWF.

“Sagard will put all of its resources at the company’s disposal, leveraging our expertise in supporting tech companies, our deep ecosystem in AI/ML and strong commercial network, to bolster Unit8’s organic growth internationally,” said Guillaume Lefebvre, partner at Sagard NewGen.

Check out more on that deal here.

Automation. Burke Porter Group (BPG), a portfolio company of AEA Investors, announced the acquisition of Quantum 3.

Quantum 3 offers automation, process improvement and workflow applications for the medical and life sciences industries with its modular and flexible framing systems featuring patented connector blocks. Q3 collaborates with its customers from concept creation and design engineering through manufacturing, installation, and after-market support. Q3 is headquartered in Killaloe, Ireland.

BPG is a global supplier of automated diagnostic, testing and production products serving life science and specialty industrial end markets. AEA acquired the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based BPG in July.

Read more on that deal here.

Exit. Vaaka Partners announced the sale of its majority stake in LTP Group to Sponsor Capital. LTP’s management will continue as significant shareholders together with Sponsor.

Headquartered in Vantaa, Finland, LTP Group is a food logistics group that includes LTP Logistics Oy, which specialises in in-house logistics and customer-specific product picking; Lännen Teollisuuspalvelu, which specialises in Transbox washing and pallet services; and LTP Cargo Oy, which focuses on delivery operations.

LTP’s net sales will exceed €70 million this year, according to Vaaka Partners.

Further coverage on that deal is here.

We’ve seen healthy dealflow from the Nordics since we launched PE Hub Europe back in the summer so our resident Finn Nina Lindholm took the opportunity to round up those deals in honour of Finland’s Independence Day earlier in the week. Check that out here.

Game over. The FIFA World Cup is in its latter stages and so too is one private equity firm’s holding of a French football team.

Beijing-based IDG Capital, French film production and distribution company Pathé and family office Holnest are the main shareholders in Olympique Lyonnais, a team in the top flight of French football.

The team is subject of a bid from Eagle Football Holdings, controlled by John Textor. A statement from the club yesterday included a quote from Textor saying that “all financings necessary” for the completion of the sale were secured and that he feels “confident that we have secured the approval in principle from all parties for the contribution to Eagle Football of my various football interests across the United Kingdom, Brazil and Belgium”.

Delaware-based Eagle Football Holdings also holds stakes in England’s Crystal Palace, Brazil’s Botafogo and Belgium’s RWD Molenbeek.

The Lyon statement added: “In light of the above, and on the basis of the statement and strong assurances of Eagle Football and Mr John Textor, the sellers and the company have considered that, in view of the progress, there was sufficient likeliness that a closing of the transactions would take place shortly. The company and its board of directors will monitor in real time the completion of the last remaining steps.”

IDG bought a 20 percent stake in the club’s holding company OL Group for €100 million in 2016.

Eagle Holding has agreed to acquire shares at €3 each and subordinated mandatory convertible bonds at €256.57 each, giving the club an enterprise value of around €800 million.

Check out some of our other football related coverage, including RedBird’s takeover of AC Milan and a round-up of several deals here.

I hope that story whetted the appetite of anyone watching the football this weekend, which is what I’ll be doing.

Whether or not you’re doing that, have a great weekend and I’ll speak to you again on Monday.