Pictet plans add-ons for facilities manager

Main makes first Swiss acquisition.

It’s freezing cold here in London but the dealmaking temperature is definitely rising, with plenty of announcements coming our way today, many of them with a sustainability element.

Before get into the fresh deals though, we have a deep dive into Pictet Alternative Advisors’ acquisition of facilities management company Pareto FM, as Nina Lindholm hears from head of direct private equity Edmund Buckley about potential add-ons for the business.

We then stay with add-ons to look at a new deal. Main Capital Partners has made its inaugural Swiss acquisition, as its portfolio company Aunetic buys LARI digital, a legal and regulatory intelligence software provider.

Next up we focus on some previously announced deals that are progressing through the approvals process. First up is the latest on I Squared Capital’s €1.6 billion acquisition of public transport company Arriva Group from Deutsche Bahn. Then we have the latest on HIG Capital’s take-private of mail and logistics business DX Group.

Switching back to new deals, and we have a couple of IT acquisitions that have a reusability angle.

Ambienta has completed the acquisition of the Rent Company (TRC), an educational laptop and technology devices provider. Meanwhile, Beyond Capital Partners‘ portfolio company Soft & Cloud has acquired 100 percent of SB Software-Broker assets.

For more deal coverage, make sure to check out the Deals section of the Dealflow further down the page.

Sustainable growth

Pictet Alternative Advisors will use a buy-and-build strategy to increase Pareto FM’s geographic coverage in a UK facilities management market that is growing from increased sustainability needs, Edmund Buckley, head of direct private equity, told PE Hub Europe’s Nina Lindholm.

Pictet invested in Pareto, a technical and facilities management company, in late 2023. London-based Pareto offers operational, maintenance and management services in buildings across the UK and globally. The investment is the first by Pictet’s new direct private equity team.

“It’s an exciting time in the real estate industry and there’s a lot of disruptive change,” said Buckley. “People who have got the technical capacity in-house are very well positioned to benefit from that wave.”

Building owners globally are having to think through tough questions around sustainability, embedded carbon and energy efficiency, Buckley explained.

Pictet plans to increase Pareto’s geographic coverage and technical capacity via M&A. A core element of the strategy is to acquire subcontractors, something that the business has done successfully before, according to Buckley. “We have quite an ambitious goal of doing it by buy-and-build; acquiring small companies that we can bring on to our platform, therefore offering better services to clients,” he added.

Read the full interview for more on Pictet’s expansion plans for Pareto.

Swiss first

Speaking of add-ons, Main Capital Partners has made its first Swiss acquisition, with its portfolio company Aunetic buying LARI digital, a legal and regulatory intelligence software provider.

The acquisition is part of Main’s plan to grow Aunetic’s footprint in Europe via organic growth, strategic partnerships and buy-and-build, according to a statement.

Aunetic is a governance software company headquartered in Stockholm with offices across Sweden and Germany. Main created the company via the merger of Sweden’s Bilka and Germany’s Audimex.

LARI digital aims to allow in-house legal and compliance teams to monitor legislative and regulatory changes while increasing automation. Its acquisition will bolster Aunetic’s governance software suite and grow its position in the DACH region, the statement added.

Approvals

I Squared Capital’s €1.6 billion acquisition of public transport company Arriva Group from Deutsche Bahn has moved a step closer after the European Commission approved the deal under the EU Merger Regulation.

The infrastructure investor agreed to buy the Sunderland, UK-headquartered business, including its operating businesses across 10 European markets, back in October.

In take-privates, HIG Capital’s £290 million ($369 million; €337 million) acquisition of UK and Ireland mail and logistics company DX Group is all but complete after the required majority of shareholders voted in favour of the deal.

The deal is now subject to a sanction hearing in the High Court of Justice on 25 January. HIG and DX expect the takeover to be effective around 29 January.

IT’s on

We’ve got a couple of IT related deals to report today, both with a reusability angle.

Ambienta has completed the acquisition of the Rent Company (TRC), an educational laptop and technology devices provider.

TRC is headquartered in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. The company operates with around 300 full-time employees across 10 locations and serves approximately 700 schools.

TRC’s commitment to repairing and extending the life of laptops aligns with Ambienta’s sustainability goals, according to a release.

Meanwhile, Beyond Capital Partners‘ portfolio company Soft & Cloud has acquired 100 percent of SB Software-Broker assets.

Soft & Cloud and SB Software-Broker are used-software-licence providers. SB Software-Broker buys and sells used original software from vendors such as Microsoft or Adobe.