Swedish global investment group EQT has embarked on selling FM provider Apleona, formerly part of industrial services group Bilfinger, for about €2 billion (just over £1.8 billion).
A sale would also benefit Bilfinger by as much as 49 per cent because of clauses built into the 2016 sale agreement to EQT, including advances on the acquisition price and future earn-outs. With Bilfinger’s turnover of €4.3 billion (over £3.87 billion), this would be a significant bonus.
EQT, which is being aided with the sale by Deutsche Bank, has sent out information to likely buyers such as CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and JLL, and other private equity groups. A stock market listing in summer 2021, organised by Deutsche Bank and UBS, also seems fairly likely.
Stockholm-based EQT acquired the company for €1.4 billion (about £1,62 billion) including debt in 2016 and last year had already started preparations for the structured sale through a bidding process, but plans were stalled by the Covid-19 pandemic. Apleona is expecting full-year EBITDA earnings of €135 million, so a sale at €2 billion would value it at about 16 times that.
Apleona, based near Frankfurt, with a UK head office in Greenwich, has about 20,000 staff in 30 nations and has annual sales of €2 billion. Its customers include BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, BASF, Adidas, Lufthansa, and Siemens.