Ardian and PIF ink Heathrow Airport deal as Ferrovial cashes out

Triton’s Caverion takeover nears end.

We’ve got a pretty big deal to open things up with, as French private equity firm Ardian agrees to take a 15 percent stake in Heathrow Airport from Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is taking Ferrovial’s remaining 10 percent stake. That deal had been in the works for a while – we first wrote about the interest back in August.

Next, we take a brief look at Triton Partners’ take-private pursuit of Finnish construction company Caverion, which is all but complete.

We then have another deal as ECI Partners acquires a compliance software provider from Cow Corner.

Taking off

Ardian and PIF have agreed to acquire a 25 percent stake in Heathrow Airport for £2.38 billion ($3.01 billion; €2.74 billion) from Ferrovial, which is selling its entire stake.

Private equity firm Ardian and PIF, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, will acquire a 15 percent and 10 percent stake, respectively.

Ardian has form in aviation. It has also invested in London Luton Airport and six Italian airports.

Ferrovial is exiting after 17 years, during which it achieved “some excellent milestones”, according to a statement from Luke Bugeja, CEO of Ferrovial Airports. “These include overseeing an investment of £12 billion, expanding its capacity with the construction of Terminal 2, and improving its operational performance.”

We first wrote about Ardian and PIF’s interest in Heathrow back in August.

Ardian has been pretty busy in November. It agreed to acquire data centre business Verne Global from Digital 9 Infrastructure this week, while earlier in the month it agreed to sell its stake in digital dental company Imes-icore to EMZ Partners and acquired a $2.1 billion portfolio of limited partnership interests in 20 private equity funds from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

End in sight

A take-private deal we’ve been following closely on PE Hub Europe has entered its final stages, as Finnish construction company Caverion announced that Triton Partners has acquired just shy of 95 percent of its outstanding shares.

Triton now has the right under Finnish law to redeem the shares it doesn’t own at €8.75 each, in line with its final offer in April. Triton cleared its final regulatory hurdle for the deal in late October.

Standards

ECI Partners has acquired ISMS.online, a compliance software provider, from Cow Corner.

The deal provides a full realisation for Cow Corner. Cow Corner invested in ISMS.online in 2019.

Brighton, UK-based ISMS.online provides global SMEs and enterprise customers with a cloud-hosted information security management system to facilitate the adoption of ISO 27001 and over 100 other standards.

ECI’s investment will support the company to expand into global markets and adjacencies, according to a release.

“ISMS.online is a great business at the cross section of SaaS, compliance and cyber security – all very interesting growth markets,” said Daniel Bailey, investment director at ECI. “With demand for ISOs increasing and more organisations looking for certifications such as ISO 27001, ISMS.online has a real opportunity to continue its highly impressive trajectory to date.”

Tis the season

I was at a press party hosted by Blackstone in London’s West End last night and while I can’t share anything with you as the event was off the record, I can say that there was a sense of optimism about private equity and other alternatives going into 2024 – which wasn’t solely down to the wine, I promise.

Jonathan Gray, president and COO was in attendance, and while I can’t report his comments, I can suggest that readers sign up for Private Equity International’s NEXUS 2024 in Florida from 6-8 March which includes Gray in its keynote lineup.