Bregal Unternehmerkapital has acquired Safety21, an Italian software provider in the smart road and smart city space. No financial terms were disclosed.
Milan, 1st October 2021 – Bregal Unternehmerkapital (“BU”) announces today that it has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Safety21 S.p.A. (“Safety21”), a leading Italian software provider in the Smart Road and Smart City space.
The transaction was done in partnership with Safety21’s founder Gianluca Longo and his management team, and aims to strengthen the company’s leadership position in Italy while supporting its international expansion plans. This will be achieved by leveraging the company’s innovative technological platform and scalable model of sustainable mobility. Substantial growth is projected as part of the plan, which will be achieved in part through inorganic growth, with a view to expand Safety21’s range of innovative services and position the company competitively in the Smart City space.
Safety21 was founded in 2011 by Gianluca Longo, who remains CEO of the company upon completion of the transaction. Safety21 provides public entities with end-to-end traffic monitoring software solutions based on the proprietary IoT cloud platform TITAN. The system manages large amounts of data on a daily basis used to monitor and manage road safety, traffic control and CO2 reduction, and allows municipalities to implement a policy strongly oriented towards Smart Mobility. Safety21 monitors over 200 million transits and offers fully automated and technology-enabled services to more than 300 public entities, making it the market leader in Italy.
Thanks to Safety21’s solid growth prospects, the previous shareholders reinvested in the transaction with a minority stake. Minority shareholders include HAT Sgr, led by Ignazio Castiglioni and chaired by Nino Attanasio, which invested in Safety21 in 2016 through HAT Sicaf fund and is currently reinvesting through HAT Technology & Innovation, alongside important Italian and European family offices as well as the founder Gianluca Longo.
“We believe Safety21 is a champion in its industry, which is why we decided to support Gianluca Longo in the development of the company’s success through both organic and inorganic growth”, commented Valentina Pippolo, Partner and Italy Country Head of BU Italy. “The company has recorded impressive growth over the last years, taking advantage of the Smart City and Smart Mobility trend. We intend to further develop and support the company in order to make it a best practice example of sustainable mobility and the undisputed market leader.With this investment we want to contribute to the digitalisation process of the Public Administration for a faster and more efficient management of mobility, confirming our commitment to support companies with a strong ESG focus”.
Gianluca Longo, CEO and founder of Safety21, added: “We are proud that a large European private equity player has chosen Safety21 for its first investment in Italy. In these 10 years of work since inception, Safety21’s technology and business model have enjoyed a remarkable evolution and success in the market, and now thanks to BU we have a chance to expand abroad, replicating the Italian model. Today, road safety combined with the pressing need for Smart Mobility and the reduction of emissions is a fundamental development pillar for any community”.
The board of Satefy21 will be composed by the Chairman Gen. Roberto Campisi, the Chief Executive Officer Gianluca Longo and the directors Valentina Pippolo, Edoardo Romeo, Ignazio Castiglioni, Laurent Asscher and Germano Fanelli.
BU was assisted by Cassiopea Partners as M&A advisor, by Deloitte for financial due diligence, by Essentia Advisory as debt advisor, by Latham & Watkins for legal aspects and by Bonelli Erede for the structuring.
Safety21 was supported by GP Bullhound as M&A advisor and by Orrick for legal aspects.
The deal was financed by Banco BPM, assisted by Legance – Avvocati Associati.
Bregal Unternehmerkapital (“BU”) invests in mid-sized companies across a wide range of sectors in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, with a focus on market leaders and “hidden champions” with strong management teams and outbreak potential. With “patient capital”, entrepreneurial skills and a consolidated network, the BU team works closely with entrepreneurs to develop, internationalize, and digitise portfolio companies, helping them to generate sustainable value on a responsible basis. As part of its comprehensive commitment to ESG, BU also supports existing portfolio companies with loans at attractive terms to finance sustainability investments provided by Bregal’s dedicated €40 million Sustainable Development Fund and, over the last year, with grants for charitable projects to contribute to portfolio companies’ pandemic responses provided by Bregal’s €3 million COVID-19 relief fund.