With much of Europe in holiday mode, we’ve been asking dealmakers for their outlook for the second half of the year. Today, Battery Ventures’ Zak Ewen tells Irien Joseph that the “dust has settled” on rising interest rates, meaning dealmakers can model rates into capital structures and that deal volumes will increase in H2.
While it had been a quiet week so far for deals, we did have three announcements this morning. First, Oakley Capital has carved out a trio of dental businesses from Nordic Capital-backed European Dental Group, a Main Capital portfolio company in the identity management sector has made an add-on and LDC has made a minority investment in a sustainability data and technology provider.
‘That dust has settled’
We’re definitely in the holiday season with dealflow having slowed down in August, after a slow H1 compared with the last couple of years. But Battery Ventures partner Zak Ewen expects things to pick up in H2, he said in a Q&A with PE Hub Europe’s Irien Joseph.
Here’s a snippet of the interview:
What’s Battery’s forecast for dealflow in H2?
Dealflow in the tech sector will be better and with time, more exit horizons will come to bear. There will be pressure from the private equity community with portfolio companies hitting maturity and firms pushing for exits ahead of new fundraising cycles.
The last 18 months have been a wait-and-see environment. The public tech markets collapsed, crossover funds shut down private market activities and at the same time, the macro environment worsened and interest rates were going up. That dust has settled. People know where interest rates are heading and can model it into their capital structure. It won’t slow down deal activity dramatically, but it will rebalance capital structures. The way deals are done will change. The expectation is that deal volumes will increase and there will be a recovery in H2.
What kind of deals can get done today?
Given the reshoring trend and globalisation scaling back, this is bringing manufacturing investments back into Europe and the US. We’ve done a lot around ERP and PLM, and simulation software, and this will continue to be an area of focus for Battery. Other areas include the public sector; there are long-term trends around governments digitising across Europe and looking to the private sector to build tech to help them get there.
Find out more of Ewen’s outlook for H2 in the full Q&A.
Although there’s been an August slowdown, today was a little busier than earlier in the week with three announced deals crossing our desks this morning.
First up, Oakley Capital has agreed to acquire a trio of dental companies in a carve-out from Nordic Capital-backed European Dental Group (EDG) to form a dental laboratories group in Europe.
Flemming Dental, Excent and Artinorway Group provide a range of services, including the design and manufacture of dental prostheses and orthodontics, utilising technology including CAD software, computer-aided milling and 3D printing. It services around 5,000 clinics across nearly 70 dental laboratories throughout Europe.
Oakley and the management team’s collaboration will see the execution of a growth strategy, driven by organic growth, international expansion and targeted M&A, according to a release.
“This is a key inflection point for the dental laboratory industry, with rapid digitalisation poised to revolutionise dental design and manufacturing, and patient care,” said Peter Dubens, Oakley Capital managing partner and co-founder.
EDG is a pan-European oral care and services provider based in Hilversum, the Netherlands.
Flemming is based in Hamburg, Germany, Artinorway has offices in Oslo and Trondheim in Norway, and Excent is based in the Netherlands.
Pointsharp – an identity and access management service provider based in Stockholm – has now made three add-ons, following the acquisition of Secmaker in 2021 and Cryptshare in 2022.
“This strategic combination with SIVIS symbolises another important step in Pointsharp’s growth journey as it seeks to become the leading European security player while also competing with the larger US vendors,” said Wessel Ploegmakers, partner and co-head of the Nordics office at Main. “Furthermore, the acquisition of SIVIS enables Pointsharp to solidify its presence in the strategically important growth market Germany.”
Main first invested in Pointsharp in 2020 with a focus on expanding in Northwestern Europe.
Sedex is headquartered in London. It employs over 200 people across offices in the UK, Australia, Chile, China, India and the US.
LDC’s investment will support Sedex’s organic growth strategy to drive sustainability in supply chains globally, according to a release.
Sedex will further invest in developing its platform, tools and professional services, leveraging the power of data and technology for its members’ benefit and fuelling its international expansion plans, the release added.