PAI Partners has agreed to acquire Apleona Group for approximately EUR 1.6 billion ($1.94 billion). The seller is EQT, which purchased the provider of technical facility management services in 2016 through a carve-out from Bilfinger SE. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to EQT.
6 December 2020
PAI Partners (“PAI”), a leading European private equity firm, announced today the acquisition of Apleona Group GmbH (“Apleona” or “the Company”) from EQT for a total transaction value of approximately EUR 1.6 billion.
Headquartered in Neu-Isenburg, Germany, Apleona provides technical facility management services, complemented by infrastructural and commercial facility management as part of an integrated offering. EQT acquired the Company in 2016 through a carve-out from Bilfinger SE, a listed German industrial services conglomerate.
Under EQT ownership Apleona has been transformed into a pure-play facility management provider with an unrivalled position in DACH, partly through the divestments of its cyclical, low margin construction segment in 2017 and its UK real estate advisory business GVA in 2018. This strategic shift was further accelerated by significant investments into a digitalized operating platform and commercial excellence, fully focused on providing high-value integrated facility management services to its core blue-chip customer base. Apleona’s focus has led to a steady above-market growth rate and numerous new key account wins since 2016.
Today, Apleona has more than 20,000 employees, managing tens of thousands of buildings and offices in over 30 countries across Europe. The Company supports its clients with a wide range of services, amongst others with the goal of reducing buildings’ energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In a world where companies recognize the importance of environmental sustainability, Apleona plays a vital role in helping its clients manage their impact on the environment.
As a sign of its commitment to supporting customers’ drive towards energy efficiency, Apleona has developed widely recognized digital solutions for its customers. This offering has been complimented by strategic acquisitions and partnerships, such as that of Recogizer in 2020, which offers an AI-powered steering solution for a buildings’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Ralph Heuwing, Partner at PAI Partners, said: “We are excited to invest in Apleona, an excellent fit with PAI’s investment philosophy of acquiring industry leaders and capitalizing on attractive market fundamentals as well as tangible consolidation opportunities. The platform prepared by EQT and CEO Jochen Keysberg has laid the foundation for efficiency, digital excellence and continued growth. We look forward to a successful journey together.”
Philipp Meyer, Principal at PAI Partners, commented: “PAI has a strong track record in business services and in particular technical facility services. We view Apleona as uniquely positioned in the attractive DACH market, consistently delivering outstanding operational performance and successfully growing its portfolio of high-quality customers.”
Andreas Aschenbrenner, Partner at EQT Partners: “Today, Apleona is the market leader in the technical and integrated facilities management space. It has a strong platform to continue to drive market consolidation and further key account wins as the partner of choice for its blue-chip clients. We would like to thank Apleona’s CEO, Jochen Keysberg, the broader management team, the supervisory board and the advisory committee, as well as all employees for supporting EQT and Apleona along our joint journey.”
Matthias Wittkowski, Partner at EQT Partners, added: “This transaction underlines EQT’s position as the market leading investor in the services sector. We are proud to have supported Jochen and his team in accelerating the development of Apleona particularly along our core themes of growth, digitalization and sustainability.”
Jochen Keysberg, CEO of Apleona, concluded: “We have very much enjoyed the collaborative journey under EQT ownership and are thrilled to see how Apleona has benefited from EQT’s expertise and the investments made since the carve-out. We have an advantage with digital products and the automation and digitalization of operational processes and an unrivalled track record of sustainability initiatives supporting our client’s efforts. We are very excited to take this next step of our journey together with PAI and enter a new phase of growth both through M&A and also our enhanced organic growth potential”
The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals and is expected to close early Q2 2021. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to EQT.