OpenGate’s ScioTeq enlists rugged display firm IRTS; Thoma Bravo’s European team closes first deal

Thoma Bravo expanded its European presence by opening a London office in September.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the Thursday Dealflow.

We kick off the day with an exclusive interview with OpenGate about its portfolio firm ScioTeq acquiring rugged display maker IRTS.

Following that, we have a debut deal by Thoma Bravo’s new Europe team, a big acquisition by EQT, Euronext cooling on a PE-backed firm and deals involving WestView Capital Partners and IK Partners.

On the radar. First up today we can reveal that OpenGate portfolio firm ScioTeq, a designer and manufacturer of visualisation systems for the aerospace industry, has acquired rugged display manufacturer IRTS.

PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm spoke to OpenGate principal Xavier Lambert in an exclusive interview about the deal.

The interview touches on OpenGate’s plans for the firms, but for me it also chimed with a wider trend we’ve seen where industries linked to the defence sector are becoming more palatable from an investment point of view.

Lambert described the 2021 ScioTeq acquisition as an opportunistic move for OpenGate. “ScioTeq was really the first aerospace and defence transaction we’ve made at OpenGate, even though our team has some experience in the sector.”

OpenGate’s interest in the sector was boosted by the industry’s long-term structural growth, decoupled from the global economic cycle, with some niche fragmented sub-segments requiring an in-depth understanding and expertise, according to Lambert.

Read the full interview here.

For more on the growing private equity interest in aerospace and defence, check out this PE Hub Europe interview with Emmanuel Laillier, head of private equity at Tikehau Capital.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, investors’ attitudes to the defence industry have changed, Laillier told me at the time.

“Aerospace had difficulties during covid but the trend remains strong,” he said. “Our last fund was raised during covid. It was a very good entry point for the LPs. For a lot of investors then, fund of funds, aerospace was not ESG, as suppliers had 5-15 percent of their customers in the defence industry. But that was 2018 and that attitude has changed a bit.”

Debut. Readers will remember back in September when we reported that Thoma Bravo was expanding its European presence by opening a London office.

That new team is off the mark, after investing in LOGEX, a healthcare analytics provider headquartered in Amsterdam.

Read more about that deal here.

Aggregator. EQT has announced that EQT Active Core Infrastructure fund and Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) will acquire Radius Global Infrastructure for a total enterprise value of around $3.0 billion.

Radius, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, is an international aggregator of rental streams underlying wireless and other communication related sites via the acquisition of real property interests and contractual rights. In 2022, the firm recorded $157.6 million in annualised in-place rents. It is active in over 20 countries across North and South America, Europe, and Australia.

With this acquisition, both the firms will assist Radius in its expansion efforts, according to a release.

Find full coverage of the deal here.

Deal off. Last week we wrote about exchange operator Euronext making an offer of €8.75 per share for fund platform Allfunds. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is one of the main shareholders in Allfunds.

That potential deal isn’t happening, as Euronext has withdrawn its indicative offer.

Life sciences. Framework Solutions, backed by WestView Capital Partners, will acquire ONIX Life Sciences, a consultancy specialising in regulatory operations services to support life sciences clients.

ONIX is based in Berkshire, England.

This acquisition will help both companies to expand their global presence and strengthen service capabilities by providing a broader slate of critical services to clients, according to a release.

Read more on the deal here.

Rapid add-on. Responda Group has entered into an agreement to buy Personlig svarsservice.

Personlig provides businesses with telephone services, webchat and appointment booking services. The company is based in Stockholm.

Responda Group is a provider of business process outsourcing services to small and medium-sized enterprises. The firm is also headquartered in Stockholm.

IK Partners recently announced that it will invest in Responda Group via its IK Small Cap III Fund.

That’s all from me this week – Nina Lindholm will be with you tomorrow for the Friday Dealflow.