We start today with the latest in a series of interviews with senior private equity professionals on their H2 dealmaking outlook, as we hear BlackRock’s Nathalie von Niederhaeusern’s thoughts on take-privates, dealflow and the exit market.
On the deal front, we have Cube Infrastructure Managers agreeing to acquire Urbaser Nordic, a municipal waste collection services provider.
We’ll finish today with some people news, as TPG has appointed Flavio Porciani as a partner based in London.
In the latest of our series talking to dealmakers about the outlook for the rest of the year, my colleague Irien Joseph spoke to Nathalie von Niederhaeusern, head of EMEA, BlackRock Private Equity Partners.
While von Niederhaeusern was pessimistic about the state of the economy, calling it subdued, her outlook on dealflow was more positive. Here are some snippets from the interview:
What dealflow do you expect?
Overall, we anticipate dealflow in H2 to be better. If you look at previous downturns, the outperformance of private equity compared to public equity has increased during times of volatility and crisis. So, the opportunity set is maybe smaller than in previous years, but also more interesting.
In terms of what is driving dealflow, firstly, the financing markets are opening up. Leverage is still expensive, but we are seeing it beginning to open up definitively in the US and a bit in Europe. Second, whenever you have volatility, it can take six to nine months for buyers and sellers to converge on prices and close the valuation gap, which we saw emerge at the tail end of 2022. I think it has dawned on people that increased interest rates and inflation are here to stay. So, the valuation mismatch has started to close. The upside is that more deals are not only being started but also being closed.
How are these factors informing your dealmaking in H2?
I think public to private transactions, with corrections in valuation given the higher volatility, is something we have leaned into significantly, especially in the US. I think the European framework setup with different jurisdictions makes take-privates more difficult, but potentially even more attractive than in the US.
Moving from looking at the future to a deal announced just this morning. Cube Infrastructure Managers, through its fund Cube Infrastructure Fund III, has agreed to acquire Urbaser Nordic (Nord), a waste collection services provider from Urbaser.
Headquartered in Sørum in Norway, Nord is a municipal waste collection platform with operations across Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. The company serves around 100 municipalities and more than 5 million inhabitants with a fleet of over 1000 trucks.
Nord’s revenues are underpinned by a portfolio of more than 175 medium- to long-term contracts with local authorities, according to a press statement.
Cube plans to support Nord with capital and sector expertise to aid the company’s future growth in the Nordic countries in its core municipal waste collection segment and in the Danish waste treatment sector, the release added.
“Our investment in Nord illustrates Cube’s strategy to build on our existing sector knowledge to identify new investment opportunities with strong infrastructure characteristics in attractive geographies,” said Stefan Weis, partner at Cube. “After the successful transformation of Nord over the last few years under Urbaser’s ownership, we are excited to partner with the group’s management and we look forward to supporting the group in addressing the opportunities which the dynamic Nordic market offers.”
For more on waste management, take a look at Irien Joseph’s recent round up of deals in the sector or my deep dive story about Ardian’s agreement to acquire Attero, a European waste management and circular economy platform. You can read my story here.
Before signing off, we have some people news to look at. TPG has appointed Flavio Porciani as a partner based in London. Porciani will lead European software and enterprise technology investing for TPG Capital, the firm’s US and European late-stage private equity platform.
Porciani joins partners Nehal Raj and Tim Millikin as a co-head of the platform’s software and enterprise technology franchise.
Porciani moves to TPG from Warburg Pincus, where he most recently served as a managing director and partner on the European Technology team.
“Flavio is an experienced investor with an extensive network across Europe and a strong pulse on the region’s software and enterprise technology landscape,” said Raj. “His deep domain expertise and track record complement TPG Capital’s thematic, sector-focused investment approach.”