Nordic Capital’s ‘win-win’ with The Binding Site extension; Duke Street brings in Suir Engineering

Suir has worked in pharma, energy and utilities, food and beverage, and data centre engineering for nearly four decades and has an annual turnover of around €300 million.

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

We start today with a deeper look at one of the largest exits we’ve seen in a while.

Make a big exit. Nordic Capital has been grabbing headlines of late, thanks to it completing one of the largest fundraises in Europe this year – check out our affiliate site Private Equity International’s coverage of that – and making a bumper exit from healthcare investment The Binding Site at the end of the October.

PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm discovered from Jonas Agnblad, partner and co-head of healthcare at Nordic Capital, that the firm didn’t realise just how big the return on investment for The Binding Site would be – nor the eventual length of its holding period – when it bought it back in 2011.

Nordic Capital and Five Arrows announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement to sell The Binding Site to Thermo Fisher Scientific in a deal valued at £2.25 billion ($2.6 billion; €2.6 billion) at the end of October. The exit yielded 19x Nordic Capital’s initial investment in The Binding Site, according to sources close to the matter, who added that it made it the firm’s best investment to date.

“Of course, we thought Nordic Capital bought a fantastic business with great potential, but the fact that it would be owned for more than 11 years and have such a fantastic development and return on our investment – that exceeded our initial expectations,” Agnblad said.

Birmingham, England-headquartered The Binding Site provides diagnostic products to clinicians and laboratory professionals for the detection, diagnosis and management of blood cancers, such as multiple myeloma and immune system disorders. The buyer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, is a supplier of scientific equipment, reagents and consumables, and software services headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Nordic Capital opted to extend the holding period of The Binding Site in 2018 with the use of a continuation fund, as the firm saw further opportunities to drive sales earnings and value. “Continuation vehicles are a great way for active owners like Nordic Capital to continue to drive value for a longer period,” Agnblad said. “It’s really a win-win.”

Check out Nina’s full interview with Agnblad to hear more about how Nordic Capital grew The Binding Site as well as his thoughts on the wider healthcare market.

Nordic Capital’s exit from The Binding Site wasn’t the only big exit recently. Last week, we wrote about KPS Capital Partners’ sale of Howden, a global provider of air and gas handling products based in Renfrew, Scotland, to Chart Industries for $4.4 billion.

We’re looking further into that deal and hope to have more on it for you soon.

Levelling up. Level 20, a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2015 by 12 senior private equity professionals, published its updated findings of its study of women working in investment roles in the European private equity and venture capital sectors.

Its core objective is to increase the number of women working in senior investment positions in the industry to at least 20 percent.

There is work to be done on that front. The report found that across Europe, just 20 percent of investment professionals are women, while at the senor level the number was only 10 percent. But the report added a positive note: “Reassuringly however, women represent 34 percent of investment professionals at the junior level – an indicator that diversity levels could rise in the future if the sector continues to take steps to encourage the retention and promotion of women in investment teams.”

Check out the full report here.

For more about women in the industry, check out PE Hub’s Women in private equity: The class of 2022 piece from back in March.

Suir thing. Switching back to deals, Duke Street is set to acquire Irish mechanical, electrical and engineering service provider Suir Engineering, the firms announced.

Suir is a jointly owned subsidiary of Dalkia and EDF Energy. After the sale to Duke Street, which includes investment from the senior management team, its “operations will continue as normal” from its headquarters in Waterford and other offices in Dublin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Frankfurt, Suir said in a statement.

Suir has worked in pharma, energy and utilities, food and beverage, and data centre engineering for nearly four decades and has an annual turnover of around €300 million.

“The company has a highly skilled workforce, an extremely strong safety record and a healthy pipeline of projects across Europe in all of its highly attractive end-sectors,” said Paul Adams, Duke Street partner, in a statement.

Read more about the deal here.

CEE deals. Finally, we have a couple of deals from the CEE region to tell you about.

Aquiline Capital Partners portfolio firm Everfield bought 100 percent of Latvian medical practice management systems provider Blue Bridge Technologies.

Everfield bought the company from BaltCap Latvia Venture Capital Fund, also taking shares from Imprimatur Capital and other minority shareholders.

Riga-headquartered Blue Bridge is one of the leading developers of IT systems in the Latvian healthcare and insurance sectors, according to a release from the firms. It has three main lines of business: an electronic medical record system for providers; an electronic processing system for insurance claims and settlements; and a patient portal. It was founded in 2007.

Check out our full coverage here.

Value4Capital made a full exit from waste management company Kom-Eko, with funds advised by CEE Equity Partners taking the firm.

Kom-Eko provides services such as municipal and commercial waste collection, sorting, processing and landfilling in Lublin, Krasnik and Swidnik in south-east Poland. Bought in 2018, it was the first investment of Value4Capital’s V4C Poland Plus Fund. The 2018 deal was supported by co-investments from the management team and some of the fund’s investors.

Since that investment, Kom-Eko has more than doubled its revenues and almost tripled its EBITDA. It has also expanded its processing capacity and completed two “major” add-ons, according to the firms.

You can find out more on that deal here.

That’s it from me – I’ll be back with you tomorrow.