Providence looks to take UK conference firm private; Ardian outlines Théradial plans

Providence Equity has made an approach to take Hyve Group, a UK-based organiser of international exhibitions and conferences, off the London Stock Exchange.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the middle-of-the-week Dealflow.

We start today’s coverage with another take-private move by a US private equity firm for a UK listed company. In this case, Providence Equity looks to be putting its faith in the recovery of the exhibition industry in the wake of the covid pandemic.

Meanwhile, I interview Ardian’s Alexis Saada about his firm’s recent investment in Théradial and get his thoughts on potential headwinds for that sector.

Elsewhere, we have more US private equity money in the UK, with deals involving Parthenon Capital, Ares Management, Maven Capital Partners, LLCP, Blackstone and Francisco Partners, and more.

Take-private. US private equity firm Providence Equity has made an approach to take Hyve Group, a UK-based organiser of international exhibitions and conferences, off the London Stock Exchange.

The offer is for 105p per share, valuing the firm at around £306 million ($369 million; €347 million). The Hyve board is considering the offer and said it will make a further announcement “in due course”. Providence had made an earlier cash offer of 101p per share. Under UK rules, Providence must make a firm offer or pull its offer by 21 March, although that deadline can be extended.

Hyve’s share price had been trading between 70p and 80p since the start of the year. Before covid lockdowns began in early 2020, shuttering the world’s in-person exhibitions businesses, its share price was over 600p.

US private equity interest in European assets has been one of the big themes we’ve seen since we launched PE Hub Europe last year, with the trend helped in part by the strength of the dollar versus the euro and sterling.

Earlier this month we covered Energy Capital Partners’ take-private of UK waste management company Biffa, while we’ve also looked at several US firms setting up European offices – most recently One Rock Capital opening a branch in London.

Figures by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young released yesterday also point to the private equity interest in UK assets. There were 11 private equity-backed deals for companies listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market completed last year, compared to just eight in 2021, according to the firm’s figures.

Sharing the wealth. Sticking with US interest in UK assets, Parthenon Capital has agreed a deal to become the majority shareholder in London-based Titan Wealth Holdings. Parthenon will help fund improved technology as well as future M&A, according to a statement. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

The deal is Parthenon’s first platform investment in the UK.

Existing investors Ares Management and Maven Capital Partners will remain invested in Titan.

Read more on the deal here.

We’re expecting to see more and more wealth management deals. Last year, Copper Street Capital’s founder and executive chairman Jerry del Messier, talked to us about how the sector will benefit from demographics and large savings pools.

Value chain. I caught up with Alexis Saada, head of growth and managing director at Ardian, about his firm’s investment in France’s Théradial earlier this month. Théradial is a distributor of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and supplements for nephrology-dialysis, oncology, gastroenterology, cardiology and clinical nutrition.

We touched on a range of subjects, such as the fragmentation of the medical devices market in Europe and Ardian’s plans for growing Théradial, which you can read about in the full interview here.

But one area I wanted to share was Saada’s thoughts on a potential headwind for businesses like Théradial, in the light of rising inflation and costs.

“What is rather clear is that governments have already demanded in the past a number of efforts, in the upstream area of the value chain, and that at the other end of the chain, dialysis centres are hugely profitable,” he told me. “If anything was to happen, which is obviously uncertain, I would expect this would be that end of the chain that would be asked now to make new efforts.”

I’d love to get your thoughts on possible barriers to growth in the healthcare industry. Send them over to me at

We don’t need no education. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has agreed to sell GL Education, a London-based schoolchild assessment provider (known as GL Assessment in the UK and Ireland) to Renaissance, a portfolio company of Blackstone and Francisco Partners.

The firm delivers over 9 million assessments each year to schools in over 100 countries, according to a statement.

The exit is expected to complete in the first quarter this year and will be LLCP’s 16th since March 2020.

Check out more on the deal here.

Advisory. Leon Capital has secured a majority investment in Xynteo, a strategic advisory firm that provides sustainability and energy transition services.

Xynteo is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. The firm has offices in the UK, Norway, and India.

This agreement includes the creation of an employee partnership model, with senior employees now becoming owners of the business, according to a release.

Read more about the deal here.

In the cloud. Onecom Group, backed by LDC, has acquired On-Site Connect’s customer base and operating assets. No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

On-Site is a cloud technologies provider headquartered in Portsmouth.

The transaction combines the On-Site team, business assets and customer base into the Onecom Group, according to a release.

Find out more about the acquisition here.

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