Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with Tuesday’s Dealflow.
Today we have an in-depth look at deal just announced this morning by EQT Growth, an investment in photography platform GotPhoto. EQT partner Dominik Stein also talks us through the outlook for growth investments in light of the wider problems in the banking sector. Plus we have an infrastructure deal by EQT to report.
Next, we have an add-on by an Archimed portfolio company, before Ardian’s Marie-Victoire Rozé becomes the latest person to talk to PE Hub Europe for our series of interviews with senior women in private equity.
We round out with a report of a potential cinema investment by CVC and a hire by Bregal Investments.
EQT is bullish about the prospects for its growth fund, with Dominik Stein, partner in the growth investment advisory team, telling PE Hub Europe that the dealmaking pace is picking up – although that it is closely watching any potential fallout from the takeovers of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse.
“We’ve been very confident going into 2023,” he said. That was of course before SVB collapsed – and was taken over by First-Citizens Bank at the weekend – and UBS rescued its compatriot Credit Suisse.
But assuming the collapses do not spark a bigger banking crisis, EQT remains confident.
“A lot of businesses are growing into valuations and at one point in 2023 or 2024 will need to raise capital,” Stein added. “Prices have adjusted and are here to stay. There’s great dealflow and great early conversations.”
Higher rates and potential defaults could hit markets, he warned, but generally he was optimistic – if a banking crisis is avoided.
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EQT has agreed to acquire a majority of GotPhoto from its founders. The investment is a play to gain exposure to a firm in a part of the photography business that has been slow to digitise but whose platform Stein believes could soon snap up interest beyond its core market.
Stein did not disclose the exact size of the investment, but told PE Hub Europe that €100 million was a “good ballpark”. The investment includes additional primary capital.
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Berlin, Germany, GotPhoto is a “one-stop shop for photographers”, said Benedikt Greifenhofer, CEO of the firm, offering services such as workflow and photo management.
It has focused on the volume photography business, which has had lagged other parts of the photography market in moving to digital, according to Stein and Greifenhofer.
“We see it a lot in vertical markets,” said Stein. “Horizontal markets get a lot more attention and spend.”
“This is a very interesting market,” Stein added. “There is huge digitisation potential. There is huge potential penetration in a fragmented market. It’s not a huge company yet but it’s by far the market leader, and we can accelerate growth.”
Read the full article to learn why volume photography has lagged other photography businesses in digitising and where Stein and Greifenhofer see potential add-ons for the business.
The deal comes a week after EQT Growth invested €100 million in sustainability software platform IntegrityNext – read more on that here.
This week, EQT announced that its Active Core infrastructure fund will acquire 82.1 percent of Tion Renewables, a renewable energy producer with a diversified portfolio of utility-scale solar, wind and battery storage, from Pelion Green Future Alpha.
Tion is headquartered in Grünwald, Bavaria.
Pelion will reinvest and will maintain a minority stake in Tion.
The transaction values Tion at a base equity value of €150 million, which is around €31.61 per share, according to a release.
The purchase price corresponds to a premium of around 35 percent over the Tion’s closing share price on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on 24 March, the release added.
Archimed-backed Namsa has acquired Suazio, a global marketing and research consultancy focusing on new, commercial-stage projects in the medical device and in vitro diagnostics sectors.
Namsa’s acquisition of Suazio is the seventh add-on for the company since Archimed’s investment in the firm. Four of Namas’s seven acquisitions were European-based companies.
Archimed acquired Namsa in September 2020.
“Like all of the add-ons we’ve engineered in partnership with Namsa, Suazio’s purchase will lead to an almost immediate expansion of both entities revenues and profits through cross-selling,” said André-Michel Ballester, managing partner at Archimed.
Namsa’s annual sales have increased two-fold to $340 million since its acquisition by Archimed, through sales and product expansion, margin improvement and acquisitions.
In the penultimate entry in our series of interviews with senior women in private equity, Nina Lindholm spoke to Marie-Victoire Rozé, a senior managing director at Ardian.
Rozé gave this advice for women looking to enter the private equity industry.
“I would like to say don’t be shy when considering a career in what can be perceived from the outside as a less diverse industry.
“There are a lot of opportunities for young talented women in the industry. There is a lot of work along the way, but it comes with a lot of rewards in terms of career progression, intellectual stimulation and learning opportunities. There are already a lot of female leaders who are role models in the industry, starting with the ones at Ardian, such as our founder and president Dominique Senequier.
“I am confident there will be many more to come as more and more female talent joins the sector. The wider industry is actively working to improve diversity – for example in our team, since early 2022, 50 percent of our new hires have been women.”
CVC Capital Partners is in talks with cinema operator Cineworld to buy the firm’s businesses in eastern Europe and Israel, according to a Sky News report. The private equity firm is in competition with activist investor Elliott Management to buy the assets.
Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US last year.
The report had little impact on Cineworld’s share price, which was around £2.30 this morning, in line with where it has been for weeks. A year ago, it was close to £35.
We’ve asked CVC for comment.
Yesterday we wrote about a report that Brookfield Asset Management was in exclusive talks to take a majority stake in Paris-HQ’d data centre operator Data4. Brookfield declined to comment when approached by PE Hub Europe.
Bregal Investments has appointed Ryan Selwood as chief investment officer, a newly created position.
Selwood will provide direct investment, asset management and business development oversight and will work closely with Alan Carrier, CEO, and the senior leadership team, according to a release.
Selwood was previously a partner and chief development officer at Carlyle. He also worked for over 15 years at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
That’s all from me – happy dealmaking and I’ll be back with you again tomorrow.