Amundi agrees Alpha Associates deal

Triton’s Renk ups IPO size; Trive completes take-private.

We’ve got three deals to chat about today that highlight three themes we’ve been focusing on over the last few months.

First up is Amundi inking a deal to acquire private markets firm Alpha Associates, becoming the latest asset manager to make an acquisition in the alternatives sector.

Next, we have Triton Partners-backed Renk Group upping the size of its IPO – perhaps a sign that 2024 could be much better for listings than last year’s stagnant activity.

Finally, Trive Capital has wrapped up its take-private of a listed UK company – the latest in a trend for US private equity firms snapping up public UK businesses.

Private play

Amundi has become the latest asset manager to bet on the private markets, after it agreed to acquire Alpha Associates.

Alpha manages €8.5 billion of assets and on top of its Zurich headquarters has a footprint in Germany and Austria.

The firms’ multi-manager activities in private markets will be combined into a new business line. It will have over 70 employees and combined assets of about €20 billion, according to a release.

The return on investment will be above 13 percent in year three including revenue synergies, the release added.

“Within the asset management industry, private markets have seen sustained growth in recent years, as investors have increased their allocation to this asset class in their portfolios,” said Valerie Baudson, CEO of Amundi. “This segment should also benefit from the appetite of retail investors for real assets investment solutions.

“The acquisition of Alpha Associates will thus allow Amundi to significantly broaden its client base, capabilities and product offering, in a promising market. This move, which is fully in line with our strategic objective to increase our footprint in alternative and real assets in Europe, will allow us to create substantial value for our clients and shareholders.”

Asset managers increasing their footprint in private markets is one of the big themes we’re watching right now. Other bumper deals include BlackRock agreeing to acquire Global Infrastructure Partners for $12.5 billion earlier this month. Meanwhile, some private markets players are looking to consolidate, such as General Atlantic signing a deal to acquire sustainable infrastructure investor Actis, also in January.

Listing up

Are IPOs back? On Monday I wrote about a few listings in the works and now one of those has gone better than planned.

Triton Partners-owned Renk Group said yesterday that it was upping its IPO to 33 million shares from an original 30 million. The share price of €15 means that the company expects to place about €500 million of shares.

The shares are scheduled to start trading today.

Triton still holds a majority position in Renk, a German manufacturer of drive products such as gear units and suspension systems for military and civil end markets, after the sale.

It’s a far cry from back in October when Renk postponed its IPO, citing a market environment that had “clouded noticeably”. Equities and bonds had fallen in public markets at the time after economic data suggested that interest rates might have to stay higher for longer.

Now of course, economists expect central banks to start cutting rates this year.

Striking a deal

Trive Capital has wrapped up the take-private of Ten Entertainment Group (Tenpin), a UK bowling and family entertainment centre operator.

Tenpin provides bowling lanes, video arcades, escape rooms, karaoke, laser tag, pool, table tennis and soft play across 53 centres.

“Trive looks forward to continuing to invest in and behind the platform to support the employee base, enhance the existing portfolio and facilitate estate expansion,” said Shravan Thadani, partner at Trive.

Trive agreed a £287 million ($362 million; €336 million) cash acquisition with the board of Tenpin in early December.

Trive is headquartered in Dallas, Texas – making it the latest in a series of US private equity firms to take a UK company private.