CPP and Corsair land airport deals; Cube warms to temperature-controlled logistics operator Müller

CPP Investments announced that it has agreed to buy a 1.59 percent stake in Aéroports de Paris from Royal Schiphol Group.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Nina Lindholm here with the final Dealflow of the week.

As someone with family in a different country, I was relieved when air travel returned to mostly normal after the worst of the pandemic had passed. PE firms are also showing interest in the industry, and we have a couple of airport related deals to talk about today. We’ve also seen other sub-sectors of infra represented in deals this week, so we’ll take a look at those too.

Now boarding. First off, let’s fly to Paris. CPP Investments announced that it has agreed to buy a 1.59 percent stake in Aéroports de Paris (Groupe ADP) from Royal Schiphol Group.

Groupe ADP owns international airports Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport and Le Bourget Airport – all based in Paris – as well as interests in a network of 25 airports worldwide that handled 160 million passengers last year. It has committed to carbon neutrality at 23 airports, including its Parisian ones, by 2030.

Once the deal is settled, CPP will hold a stake of around 5.64 percent in Groupe ADP, or €791 million-worth at market prices on 16 November.

CPP Investments, headquartered in Toronto, manages the Canada Pension Plan’s fund. The seller, Royal Schiphol Group, is a Dutch airport company. It owns and operates Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Lelystad Airport, and holds a majority stake in Eindhoven Airport. It is headquartered in Haarlemmermeer.

Our second destination is New York. Over on PE Hub, my colleague Obey Martin Manayiti wrote about Vantage Airport Group and Corsair Capital clinching a $4.2 billion deal to develop a new international terminal at John F Kennedy International Airport.

“We were bullish about traffic volumes in general and globally as an investor,” Hari Rajan, partner and head of infrastructure at Corsair, told Obey. “That’s a theme that we are keen to put capital behind, assuming that it can be done in the right type of deals that have the right elements to them.”

Rajan expressed confidence even against the economic slowdown backdrop. “With private equity sponsorship, there is a certain amount of innovation and creativity and nimbleness in deal structuring that can get you through a volatile period like this,” he said.

New York-based Corsair Capital is a specialist investment firm across financial and business services and infrastructure. Vantage Airport Group, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, is wholly owned by Corsair.

For more details about the deal, and to find out Corsair’s thoughts on the sector in general, check out Obey’s story here.

In addition to airports, airlines have also been of interest to PE firms. Recently we wrote about a consortium, led by Certares, wanting to snap up a majority stake in Italian government-owned airline ITA Airways.

If you have any thoughts on private equity’s role in the aviation industry, drop me a line at nina.l@pei.group.

Getting cold. For the next deal, we’re sticking with modes of transportation but staying firmly on the ground. Cube Infrastructure Managers agreed to acquire a 70 percent stake in Müller Transporte, on behalf of Cube Infrastructure Fund III. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks.

Vienna-based Müller Transporte is a temperature-controlled logistics operator with domestic agri-food and European pharma activities. The company has a network of four temperature-controlled platforms and a fleet of approximately 375 Euro-trucks and other vehicles. The group employs around 700 people and generated revenues of over €100 million in the financial year ending June 2022.

“Cube invests in businesses which capitalise on megatrends driving the need for sustainable infrastructure,” said Stefan Weis, partner of Cube Infrastructure Managers. “We support operating companies managing and owning essential infrastructure in Europe and Müller Transporte is a perfect example of this commitment.”

Luxembourg-headquartered Cube Infrastructure Managers is an independent management company focusing on investments in the European infrastructure sector.

For more on the deal, take a look at our full coverage here.

Energetic. Stepping away from airports and logistics to another sub-sector of infra, this week, Carlyle announced the launch of Telis Energy, a platform to develop renewable energy projects with a focus on solar in the UK, France, Spain and Germany and a view to expand to other markets in Europe.

London-based Telis will develop and partner on renewable energy projects and seek to play a “significant” role in the European energy transition, Carlyle said. The platform has a target project pipeline of more than 10GW in place by 2030.

“The launch of Telis demonstrates Carlyle’s confidence in Europe’s renewables sector and the significant role it will play in our broader infrastructure strategy,” said Pooja Goyal, chief investment officer of Carlyle’s Infrastructure Group. “Leveraging Carlyle’s experience, we believe Telis is well-positioned to capture emerging opportunities in solar and other renewables segments across European markets, benefitting from increased buyer demand for scalable and well-supported development platforms.”

To find out how much capital Carlyle has deployed in renewable assets in the last few years, check out our full coverage here.

That’s it from me. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I’ve signed up for another ultramarathon in the spring, so I’ll soon get to fill my weekends with some long runs again.