It’s a strong open to the week for deals, with a large exit and details of a take-private to report.
Next up, we look at the financials on Apax Partners LLP’s carve-out offer for the consumer trends division of Ascential.
We round things out with Oakley Capital agreeing to a majority stake in a transport management software provider.
MidEuropa is set to book a big exit, after agreeing to sell Profi Rom Food, a Romanian supermarket chain, to Dutch good retail group Ahold Delhaize for an enterprise value of around €1.3 billion (pre-IFRS 16, or €1.8 billion post-IFRS 16).
MidEuropa acquired Profi in 2017. The company has added over 1,100 stores and increased sales by over 3.3x since MidEuropa’s investment.
Profi generated revenues of over €2.5 billion in the twelve months ending June 2023.
“The sale of Profi is our second €1 billion plus exit in the retail sector in Central Europe, following our success with Zabka, where we built a Polish convenience champion,” said Robert Knorr, managing partner at MidEuropa. “The sale of Profi is also a very important exit for the Central European region which continues to be home to some of the most compelling growth companies in Europe.”
For more on the opportunities in central and eastern Europe, check out this interview with Sandberg Capital’s Michal Rybovič, which looked at why there are more and more companies in the region coming onto private equity’s radar.
Apax Partners LLP is making an offer to carve out WGSN, the consumer trends division of listed UK data and tech company Ascential, that values the business at an enterprise value of up to £700 million ($847 million; €802 million).
WGSN had revenue of £107 million in the financial year ended 31 December, with adjusted EBITDA of £49 million and gross assets of £200 million, according to a statement. It has over 6,500 customers in more than 90 countries.
While Ascential is looking to sell the business, it is retaining an interest via the sale and purchase agreement. If and when Apax eventually exits WGSN, if it hits a 3.5x return on its invested capital, then Ascential will get a cheque for 50 percent of the total proceeds payable over that threshold, capped at £50 million.
We first reported that Apax was in exclusive talks with Ascential over WGSN back in early October. At the same time, we mentioned news reports that Hyve Group, a UK-based events group taken private by Providence Equity Partners and Searchlight Capital Partners earlier this year, had, alongside media and marketing advisory company MediaLink, made an offer to acquire the events business of Ascential.
There was no mention of that in this morning’s release from Ascential, although the statement did announce that Ascential had agreed to sell its digital commerce business to US media, marketing and comms company Omnicom Group for an enterprise value of $900 million.
Apax also agreed a take-private offer for UK tech consultancy Kin and Carta earlier in October.
Oakley Capital has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Alerce, a transport management software (TMS) provider, via Origin Fund I.
Oakley will invest alongside Alerce’s founding family, including CEO Pablo Pardo Garcia, who will retain a stake in the company.
Alerce is based in Zaragoza, Spain.
“Carrier TMS is a mission critical vertical software segment that is well positioned for innovation, and Alerce’s track record and vision align with our strategy of driving growth and technological advancement,” said Peter Dubens, founder and managing partner of Oakley.
The fragmented European transport and logistics software market will enable Alerce to leverage Oakley’s knowledge in buy-and-build strategies to expand into complementary markets, according to a release.