OMERS Private Equity (OPE) has agreed to sell V.Group, a provider of maritime services to the commercial shipping, cruise, energy and defence industries, to U.S. private equity firm Advent International. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will see OPE re-invest in a minority stake in the company. OPE acquired London, U.K.-based V.Group for US$520 million in 2011. During its period of majority ownership, OPE said it supported the company’s organic growth and growth via acquisitions, including Bibby Ship Management and Selandia Ship Management. Mark Redman, global head of OPE, said the sale is OPE’s first realization in Europe and fourth exit this year.
OMERS Private Equity agrees to sell V.Group to Advent International
London, 05 December 2016: OMERS Private Equity (“OPE”), part of OMERS Private Markets, announces that it has agreed to sell V.Group (“V.Group” or the “Company”) to Advent International (“Advent”). OPE will reinvest in a minority stake in V.Group, working with Advent and the management team to support the continued growth and development of the business.
V.Group is the leading independent global maritime service provider, specialising in the outsourced technical management of high value maritime assets and the provision of a wide-range of high value support services. The company manages the running and maintenance of over 1,000 vessels on behalf of its 300 clients and provides a variety of related services to these and other third party vessels. V.Group operates across 31 countries via its international network of 70 offices and maintains a seafarers pool of some 47,400 marine crew.
The sale of V.Group marks the first exit by OPE in Europe since establishing a presence in London in 2009.
Since acquiring V.Group in 2011, OPE has worked closely with the company to create the global market leader in maritime services primarily via rapid organic growth but also through selected acquisitions, notably of Bibby Ship Management and Selandia Ship Management Group. In line with its private equity strategy, OPE has used its differentiated capital base to support management in delivering identified growth initiatives and enhancing capabilities in Business Development, Finance, Operations, Technology, HR and M&A.
Mark Redman, Global Head of OMERS Private Equity, commented:
“The sale of V.Group is the first realisation by OPE in Europe and the fourth successful exit in 2016 by OPE globally. OMERS led the way among Canadian pension funds when we first established a private equity office purely focused on lead direct deals in Europe in September 2009. I am delighted that we have demonstrated ultimate proof of concept with this exit and am confident the global team shall continue to generate the long-term, stable returns necessary to meet the OMERS pension promise.”
Martin le Huray, Co-Head, European Private Equity at OMERS Private Equity, commented:
“OPE identified V.Group’s significant potential several years ago and was pleased to partner with management to acquire the business in 2011. Since then, we have worked with them to create the differentiated, global market leading platform that V.Group is today. V.Group moves on from our period of majority ownership significantly enhanced and better placed to consolidate its position as the leading independent global maritime support services provider. Our continued belief in the business is demonstrated by us retaining a minority stake alongside Advent.”
Clive Richardson, CEO, V.Group added:
“We have enjoyed great support and solid growth under OPE’s ownership, and our company has continued to strengthen its position in the market through our recent acquisitions of Bibby Ship Management and Selandia Holdings. V.Group has a unique offering in marine services and I look forward to working with Advent to help V.Group embark on the next phase of its journey.”
Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisers to the Company; Weil acted as legal counsel and EY as financial diligence advisers.
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OMERS Private Equity and OMERS Private Markets
OMERS Private Equity is the private equity investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, and has $9.7 billion of capital invested in 13 direct control buyouts. OMERS Private Equity has a team of 40 investment professionals based in offices in London, New York and Toronto. OPE seeks to use its significant and differentiated capital base to partner with management teams of industry leading businesses across North America and Europe to support their growth strategies.
The London office of OMERS Private Equity opened in September 2009 with a strategy to build a mid-market private equity presence in Europe, and has since completed six acquisitions, investing $2.2bn of capital. V.Group was the second investment made by OMERS Private Equity in Europe and its sale represents the first realisation by the European team. OPE’s other investments in Europe comprise: Vue Cinemas (£935m buy-out in 2013 in equal partnership with AIMCo); Environmental Resources Management (US$1.7 billion buy-out in 2015 in partnership with AIMCo); Civica (£390m buy-out in 2013); Lifeways (£207m buy-out in 2012); and Haymarket Financial ($700m start-up investment in 2009).
OMERS Private Markets (Borealis Infrastructure and OMERS Private Equity, “OPM”) manages approximately CAN$27 billion in equity through investments in the infrastructure and private equity asset classes on behalf of the OMERS pension plan. Its investments are aimed at generating strong returns to help deliver secure and sustainable pensions to OMERS members. OMERS Private Markets has offices in Toronto, New York, London and Sydney. OMERS is one of Canada’s largest pension funds with net assets of CAD$77 billion. For more information, please visit www.omerspe.com or www.omersprivatemarkets.com.
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in more than 315 private equity transactions in 40 countries and as of June 30, 2016, had €36 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 190 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors: business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. After more than 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com.
V.Group is the leading global maritime services provider specialising in the outsourced technical management of high value maritime assets for ship and other asset owners, and the provision of a wide-range of high-value technical, workforce and commercial services. With over 3,000 personnel located across 70 offices globally, supporting over 47,000 personnel in marine and offshore roles, V.Group offers the broadest range of offshore and technical services in the marine market with an extensive portfolio of vessels under management across the cargo, passenger and energy sectors.
Photo courtesy of V.Group