Green investing is how we open the Dealflow today, as Cinven partner Jorge Quemada talks to Nina Lindholm about how evolving legal frameworks are creating opportunities for private equity firms.
Next, we take a look at reports that Brookfield is selling UK holiday resort Center Parcs, before we cover Pollen Street Capital investing in a technology-led commercial insurance broker.
Sticking with financial services, an Advent- and Warburg Pincus-backed software provider has acquired a Romanian tech company that makes products for financial services providers, and we finish with research from law firm Mayer Brown about a growing interest in professional services companies from private equity firms.
The propensity for governments to constantly tweak and update legal frameworks for greening economies is creating more and more opportunities for private equity, Cinven partner Jorge Quemada told PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm.
This global phenomenon creates strong growth in the segment, according to Quemada, and makes it an “attractive space for private equity to invest in”. For instance, the European Commission has adopted a set of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030.
Cinven agreed in late April to acquire a majority stake in Amara NZero, a B2B distributor of products and services used in the energy transition market, from ProA Capital.
Amara, headquartered in Madrid, offers a portfolio of products and services across renewables (solar, wind and hydro), electrification and energy transition services.
Cinven’s focus will be on growing Amara beyond its core focus of solar energy, Quemada told Nina.
For more on Cinven’s plans for Amara, read the full article.
Alternative investment manager Brookfield has launched a sale process for UK holiday resort company Center Parcs, according to a report in the Financial Times. The price tag is £4 billion ($5 billion; €4.6 billion) to £5 billion, according to people familiar with the situation cited by the FT.
The sources cited by the FT said that bankers working for Brookfield had been sounding out potential buyers, including other private equity firms.
We’ve certainly seen some interest from private equity in the holiday sector lately. Most recently, PAI Partners made a binding offer to acquire The Looping Group, a pan-European leisure park operator. Another deal involving PAI was its portfolio company European Camping Group – a tour operator specialising in the mobile home holiday market – buying Vacanceselect in February. Elsewhere, Vitruvian-backed Travel Counsellors bought Holidaysplease in March.
Brookfield declined to comment when approached by PE Hub Europe.
Yesterday, Corsair Capital partner Raja Hadji-Touma told PE Hub Europe that the insurance brokerage sector in continental Europe was ripe for investment.
We’ve seen some more evidence of that today, as Pollen Street Capital has agreed to invest in Wide Group, an Italian technology-led commercial insurance broker.
Wide Group is based in Bolzano. The company was established through the combination of Eurobroker, BrokerStudio and Venice Brokers.
Pollen Street’s primary capital investment will be used to accelerate growth and to support ongoing development of Wide Group’s proprietary technologies, according to a release.
“Wide has developed an exciting and highly differentiated proposition which makes it uniquely positioned in the €36bn Italian non-life insurance market,” said Ian Gascoigne, partner at Pollen Street.
Sticking with financial services, and US digital engineering services provider Encora has agreed to acquire Softelligence, a Romanian firm working in the same sector. Encora is backed by private equity firms Advent International and Warburg Pincus.
Softelligence is headquartered in Bucharest. The company offers an array of software engineering services and digital products for banking, insurance and other industries.
Softelligence will support Encora’s strategic expansion into Europe and bolster its capabilities to serve clients in new markets, according to a release.
Research out today from law firm Mayer Brown found that there were 20 acquisitions of UK professional services companies by private equity firms in 2022.
The growing interest in law, accountancy, management consultancy, advertising marketing and public relations companies was because of the “relative ease of growing these businesses through ‘platform’ structures, with further acquisitions added to grow their client bases and revenues”, according to a statement.
While private equity firms once saw professional services as a higher risk, due to the possibility of key employees leaving the companies, they are now more confident about retaining staff for longer periods, the statement added.
“The professional services sector is starting to become a staple for some private equity funds,” said James West, partner in the private equity team at Mayer Brown, in the statement. “The strategy for private equity firms buying and building firms in sectors like accountancy has now been established. More funds are now looking for opportunities in professional services.
“If the Big 4 accountants continue to look to carve out some of their business units, there will likely be further opportunities for quite sizeable acquisitions.”