Danske Buying Addici from Argan Capital

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark’s Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) said on Friday it would take over a Swedish facility management business from private equity investors to protect outstanding loans of 628 million Swedish crowns ($79 million).

Danske Bank said in a statement it had agreed to take over Addici from Argan Capital and intended to continue operating the firm, which has 2,000 employees, but would not stay on as owner.

The takeover was a no-cash deal in exchange for relieving the previous owner of debts after loan covenants were broken in the past six months, Danske Bank director Per Skovhus said.

“We’ll be here till operations are satisfactory and the market might have changed a bit, making selling possible,” Skovhus told Reuters. “Usually banks are not long-term owners.”

Addici provides property-related services such as cleaning, reception, switchboard and security services.

Danske Bank’s total exposure to private equity amounted to 30 billion Danish crowns at end-March, a spokesman said.

“This is not a path we hope to follow again (though) … you should never say never,” Skovhus said when asked about the possibility of taking control of other companies of the hands of indebted private equity firms.

Shares in Danske Bank initially fell on the news, but pared losses to trade off 0.3 percent by 1425 GMT, outperforming a wider Copenhagen market down 1.5 percent.

(By Peter Levring; editing by John Stonestreet)