Man Utd owners mull sale; Motive teams up with embedded/capital; Eurazeo invests in NeoXam

Embedded/capital is an early-stage VC platform focused on fintech innovation.

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

The FIFA World Cup is well underway, but the owners of some of Europe’s biggest football clubs are far more focused on deals than goals.

Transfer window. The owners of Manchester United released a statement saying the board will “consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company”.

The American Glazer family bought the club – one of England’s most successful – for £790 million ($939 million; €909 million) in 2005. But their reign has endured several protests by fans, who are unhappy with their ownership.

There had already been a suggestion of private equity interest in Man Utd. There were reports that Apollo Global Management was in talks to take a minority stake in the club over the summer, although the private equity firm then distanced itself from the suggestion.

The Raine Group is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Man Utd and Latham & Watkins is its legal counsel. Rothschild and Co is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Glazer family shareholders.

Private equity investors – particularly from the US – have been taking a keen interest in European football of late (read my roundup here). But they could be spoiled for choice right now. We’ve written recently about Steven Zhang, chairman of Italian club Inter Milan, meeting with US private equity and credit funds and the owners of England’s Liverpool FC suggesting they would be open to a sale.

Teaming up. Motive Partners announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire embedded/capital, a European venture capital platform.

Berlin-based embedded/capital is an early-stage VC platform focused on fintech innovation.

“We are delighted to welcome the talented and accomplished embedded/capital team to the Motive family,” said Blythe Masters, founding partner at Motive Partners. “This acquisition not only adds depth and capability to our team, but provides critical strategic benefits to the rest of the firm, including innovation insights and learning, attracting top talent and enhanced sourcing networks.”

Motive Partners is a New York-based firm that invests in technology enabled financial and business services in North America and Europe.

In June, our affiliate title, PE Hubwrote about Apollo, Carlyle and EQT teaming up with VC firms to tap the biotech growth market.

Data-centric. Eurazeo announced an agreement to invest in NeoXam, alongside its founder Serge Delpla and its management team led by Florent Fabre. Under the agreement, Eurazeo will invest more than €100 million, making it the group’s majority shareholder.

Paris-based NeoXam, founded in 2014, provides “data-centric” products used by more than 120 clients, including asset managers, financial institutions and global banks, to structure their IT systems. According to NeoXam, its product offering covers everything from front to back and middle office, accounting and regulatory, and client reporting teams.

“The company has an extremely resilient business, its core business areas displaying growth over 20 percent per annum,” said Pierre Meignen, managing director of Eurazeo’s small-mid buyout team. “Its strong global presence will help boost growth and its teams are immensely talented.”

Partnering up. Carlyle announced a series of promotions to partner and managing director. The private equity firm now has 32 new partners and 39 managing directors across 26 offices worldwide. The moves are effective from 1 January.

Check out the full list of names here.

The hires came as we’ve seen a flurry of activity from the Washington, DC-headquartered company in Europe. It announced it had agreed to buy a majority in digital marketing firm Incubeta and had launched renewable energy platform Telis Energy last week.

Lawyering up. Speaking of hires, law firm Squire Patton Boggs appointed Carlos Blanco Morillo as partner in its corporate practice in Madrid. The private equity lawyer joined from Roca Junyent, where he was in charge of the corporate and M&A department of the Madrid office. He brings with him three associates.

Recent deals we’ve covered with a Spanish flavour include EQT portfolio company Solarpack buying the Spanish and Italian businesses of Solaer, a solar photovoltaic power plant company, and Miura Partners-backed Proclinic Group buying Meditrans, a distributor of dental products and services in Poland. Proclinic is headquartered in Zaragoza, Spain.

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