General Atlantic on European opportunities; Riverside makes double acquisition

The Riverside Company has agreed to acquire Dastex and Vita Verita.

This morning, we have a double acquisition by Riverside, as the firm looks to establish a cleanrooms group. We also have an interview with General Atlantic’s Gabriel Caillaux, who discusses his outlook for Europe, and we will take a look at the final interview in our series with senior women in private equity.

Make it a double

Let’s kick off with some deals. The Riverside Company has agreed to acquire Dastex Reinraumzubehör GmbH & Co KG (Dastex), an independently owned cleanroom garment and consumables distributor in Europe. In parallel with the Dastex acquisition, Riverside has also agreed to acquire Vita Verita as the first add-on to the platform.

Headquartered in Muggensturm in Germany, Dastex is a provider of third-party brand and proprietary garments and consumables for cleanrooms in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Benelux, with a “growing” pan-European presence.

Stockholm-based Vita Verita operates in cleanroom consumables and laboratory equipment, air quality testing, service and maintenance for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and other controlled environments. The company offers both own-brand and third-party products including disposable garments, gloves and wipes, as well as qualified verification and validation services.

“By acquiring Dastex and Vita Verita, we combine two cleanroom consumables specialists in Europe, providing mission-critical products and services and forming the nucleus to our pan-European buy-and-build strategy,” said Damien Gaudin, partner at Riverside Europe. “This creates a unique platform perfectly positioned to continue growing organically and via acquisitions.”

Exciting Europe

Next up, Craig McGlashan spoke with General Atlantic’s co-president, managing director and head of EMEA, Gabriel Caillaux, about his outlook for Europe and the firm’s very global approach.

The New York-headquartered firm has been busy in Europe, having done seven deals in the last five years in France alone. Caillaux described the quality of those entrepreneurs and companies as “staggering” and the long-term momentum as “super-exciting”.

“Investors occasionally ask me, how can you do growth investing in Europe when Europe stopped growing 10 years ago and is in permanent crisis? Actually, in a lot of ways, Europe is at an earlier innings in technology disruption than some of the other markets where GA operates. Our portfolio in Europe is north of €10 billion and the average growth rate of our companies in Europe is above the GA average of 40 percent.”

You can read the full interview here, which also covers Caillaux’s outlook for 2023, US-China trade and how the firm dealt with rising interest rates and inflation.

Women in PE

As the final instalment in our series of interviews with senior women in PE, I spoke with Tanja Lukas, investment director at Schroders Capital. Lukas, originally from Denmark, leads the firm’s activities in the UK and the Nordics with a focus on technology and software.

Private equity drew Lukas in as it allowed her to combine her passion for finance and numbers with social interactions. “Private equity is a people business – establishing long-term relationships and being a trusted partner is key to sourcing the best investment opportunities,” she told me.

Lukas, who spearheads Schroders’ internal DE&I efforts, is certain that women can bring a lot to the table in private equity. “It is a bit of a holy grail, especially in Europe,” she said. “But it has been shown that you get higher performance and lower risk when you have a more diverse team. Having a female perspective on things can really change investment outcomes for the better.”

You can read my whole interview with Lukas here. She told me about a group she has established for colleagues either on or returning from maternity leave and we discussed some interesting co-investments she has worked on during her time at Schroders.