Blackstone’s Pinker bullish on energy transition investments; Inflexion makes news in financial services

Inflexion Private Equity is interested in acquiring one or more of MJ Hudson’s divisions.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with Tuesday’s Dealflow.

It’s a frosty morning in London but the sun is shining, making it perfect weather to read the latest in our Q&A series on the outlook for dealmaking in 2023. This time we speak to Blackstone’s Juergen Pinker about energy transition, including his firm’s investment in rooftop solar mounting system provider Esdec. Elsewhere, we look at reports that Inflexion is interested in carving out part of a UK financial services firm, as well as some appointments at that company, and EQT starting the tender offer for a German thermal insulation logistics company.

Solar power. In the latest in our Q&A series with leading private equity figures on the outlook for 2023, Blackstone senior managing director Juergen Pinker talked to PE Hub Europe about the energy transition.

While cautious on the overall outlook for 2023 in dealmaking – like many of his peers – Pinker was upbeat on the prospects for investments in renewable energy.

“We are currently experiencing the realignment of valuations away from peak market levels back to historical norm, so the deal environment will remain slower, and we expect a somewhat choppy first half – but even with this dislocated M&A backdrop, there will be opportunities to get things done,” he said. “Blackstone has navigated multiple periods of dislocation and our business model is made for times like this, with long-term, locked up capital and scale advantage.

“Climate change and energy consumption are both megatrends that can’t be ignored. As a firm, we see an opportunity to invest $100 billion in energy transition and climate change solutions over the next decade. Advances in technology – combined with broad levels of stakeholder support on a global scale – will ensure momentum around this continues to build.”

Read the full interview to hear Pinker’s thoughts on the year just gone in dealmaking and Blackstone’s plans for its portfolio company Esdec, a Dutch firm that provides mounting systems for rooftop solar.

Financial play. Inflexion Private Equity is interested in acquiring one or more of MJ Hudson’s divisions, according to a report on Sky News.

MJ Hudson is a London-based financial services firm that offers services including investment consultancy, outsourcing and analytics for the asset management sector.

The company has been working with auditors on adjustments to its year-end reporting for its 2022 financial year and suspended trading in its ordinary shares in December, when it also announced that it had become aware of “additional issues, including in relation to the reporting of the historical trading of the business to FY 2022”.

On Monday, it made a further statement that it had received indications of interest for some of its divisions and had hired Alvarez & Marsal to advise on a potential sale of one or more of its business lines.

We asked Inflexion for comment but the firm declined.

Financial hire. Coincidentally, Inflexion has named Andrea Bertolini as partner and head of financial services and has appointed Daan Gankema and Rob Dunnett as investment directors, based in Amsterdam and Manchester, respectively.

Mid-market private equity firm Inflexion has invested more than £750 million ($915 million; €845 million) into the financial services industry, across 14 companies.

You can read more about Inflexion’s history in financial services and the responsibilities of Bertolini, Gankema and Dunnett in our full coverage here.

Approval. Back in December we wrote about EQT launching a voluntary takeover offer for va-Q-tec in partnership with the company’s founders. Yesterday, EQT published the offer document after gaining approval from BaFin, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. The tender period is expected to end on 16 February.

The offer price is €26.00 per va-Q-tec share, a premium of 98 percent to the unaffected three-months-VWAP as of (and including) 9 December.

Würzburg, Germany-based va-Q-tec is a provider of tech products in the field of thermal insulation and temperature-controlled logistics. The company develops, manufactures and sells thin vacuum insulation panels and phase change materials.

Supported by co-investors Mubadala and Cinven, EQT Private Equity aims to accelerate growth across all of va-Q-tec’s business lines.

That’s it from me – speak to you again tomorrow.