Carlyle drives into vehicle repair with Lacour move; FSN and Verdane invest in wind turbine tech

Lacour is a French software provider for the vehicle repair and maintenance sector.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the Dealflow.

We open today with news on one of the biggest names in private equity, as Carlyle makes a play in the vehicle repair and maintenance sector. Elsewhere, we have an investment by FSN and Verdane in the wind turbine sector, a deal in agribusiness and a roundup of the most luxurious deals of the last few months.

Repair deal. Carlyle has entered exclusive negotiations to take a majority stake in Groupe Lacour, a French software provider for the vehicle repair and maintenance sector.

Headquartered in Saint-Doulchard, Lacour provides systems for areas such as document management, costing solutions and parts databases. The firm has over 300 employees and 6,000 customers, made up of vehicle repair shops, car dealerships, insurers, fleet managers and others.

Carlyle, via its Europe Technology Partners platform (CETP), plans to partner with Lacour’s management to grow in existing markets and enter new markets, mainly in Europe, as well as boosting its product set.

“We believe Lacour is an excellent, resilient business with a strong position in the automotive after-sales industry, which is rapidly changing due to the increasing complexity of both motor vehicle fleets and the value chain – through developments such as the continual evolution of car models, the increasing penetration of electric cars, the complexity of repairs, regulations, and supply chain management – as well as the ongoing digitalisation of the sector,” said Cyril Bourdarot, managing director in the CETP investment advisory team, in a statement.

That comment on the “increasing complexity” of vehicle fleets chimes with what Zak Ewen, partner at Battery Ventures, told me about his firm’s recent investment in fleet management software firms Vimcar and Avrios.

We’ll be publishing an in-depth look at the Battery investment in the coming days.

Turbines. FSN Capital and existing shareholder Verdane have made a strategic investment of around €135 million in Polytech, a producer of rotor-blade products for wind turbines.

Verdane will remain a majority shareholder, while FSN becomes a “significant” minority shareholder.

Polytech, headquartered in Bramming in Denmark, develops and designs systems for protecting and improving wind turbines. About 60 percent of all newly manufactured blades globally contain at least one Polytech product, according to a statement from the firms.

Luxury. Next up, Nina Lindholm has added another article in our popular listicle format. This one is in an industry I can really get interested in – luxury.

Partners Group, Bain Capital and BC Partners are among the PE firms that Nina includes in here piece. Check it out here.

Data. Next up, Horizon Capital tripled its investment after the sale of its portfolio company AgriBriefing to Five Arrows Principal Investments-backed Mintec.

AgriBriefing, headquartered in London and with offices in the US and France, specialises in providing data on agri-food supply chains.

Horizon completed four international acquisitions and disposed a non-core division during its investment period. It also set up its presence in US and witnessed 3x growth in subscription revenues.

Read more on that deal here.

Promotions. Palatine has elevated three members to partner level and promoted four others on the back of what the firm said was a successful year.

Andy Strickland, Tom Ross-Jones and Sam Fazakerley became partners in recognition of their long-term contributions.

Additionally, the firm promoted Tom Wildig and James Painter as senior investment directors in the buyout team, Greg Holmes as an investment director in the impact team and Jeanne Capouillez as senior executive assistant.

Find out more about Palatine’s 2022 here.

Europe ahead. Finally, Kirk Falconer over at our affiliate site Buyouts, has an interview with Jim Pittman, global head of private equity at British Columbia Investment Management Corp, about his firm’s plans for global expansion – including in Europe.

BCI is thinking about its next move “onwards to Europe,” Pittman told Kirk. The plan is to set up shop in London by the end of 2023. A staff of a dozen will be hired to run the office, which, together with fresh recruits in New York and the Victoria headquarters, will up the PE group’s size to 65 professionals.

You can read that full interview here.

North American private equity firms boosting their operations in Europe is a subject we’ve covered a lot at PE Hub Europe since we launched about six months ago. Most recently, I spoke to Battery Ventures’ new partner Zak Ewen about his firm’s plans to grow in Europe, while we also covered Thoma Bravo opening a London office.

That’s it from me. Nina will be with you tomorrow to take you through to the weekend.