Patrizia acquires infrastructure asset manager Whitehelm

Patrizia acquires infrastructure asset manager Whitehelm

Patrizia has agreed to acquire Whitehelm, an international infrastructure asset manager, for €67 million.

Patrizia said the acquisition triples its infrastructure AUM to circa €5 bllion. Patrizia aims to grow the segment in the mid-term to €15 to 20 billion.

”Whitehelm’s product offering and investment expertise will significantly broaden Patrizia’s portfolio of investment solutions with a particular focus on smart cities & digital infrastructure, de‑carbonisation & energy transition, water and environmental services, and social infrastructure, across equity, debt, and public listed infrastructure investments,” said the company in a press release.

”With more than 60 investment specialists in Australia and Europe and a track record of more than 100 infrastructure investments, Whitehelm has achieved for its clients an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 11.9% for global core infrastructure investments since inception. Whitehelm’s investment clients are predominantly pension funds located in APAC and Europe. With offices in Sydney, Canberra and London, Whitehelm will further expand Patrizia’s global reach and strengthen its footprint in APAC supporting Patrizia’s growth strategy in the region. Whitehelm currently manages EUR 3.2bn AUM with EUR 1.6bn additional commitments and has over EUR 22bn funds under advice for institutional, government, and private clients in Australia.”

“We are delighted to welcome Whitehelm to Patrizia. The combination of our strengths, expertise and global footprint is highly complementary and will enable us to create significantly more investment choices for our clients”, says Wolfgang Egger, CEO and founder of Patrizia.

“Whitehelm and Patrizia also represent a perfect cultural fit. We both put clients first to provide superior services. We both have a strong track record as independent investment managers being close to our clients and creating value for them. And we share a clear commitment to sustainability and making an impact. This acquisition represents a key milestone to strengthen our offering as a leading partner for global real assets,” he added.

“Whitehelm is a perfect strategic match for Patrizia. With this transformational acquisition that significantly expands our infrastructure expertise, we ascend to the next level as a global partner for real assets. And we strengthen our footprint in APAC to support our growth opportunities in the region”, comments Thomas Wels, Co-CEO Patrizia. “We are in a sweet spot to benefit from the fast-growing global infrastructure market. Whitehelm and Patrizia’s unique complementary expertise will be a springboard to grow our infrastructure AUM dynamically and at the same time accelerate the execution of our ESG strategy.”

Graham Matthews, Chief Executive and founding shareholder of Whitehelm, comments: “It was absolutely essential for us to find the right partner who brings clear additional value to our clients, embraces long-term thinking and has a strong track record in the industry. So, we are really excited about partnering with Patrizia as they are a perfect cultural and strategic fit for us. Their strong entrepreneurial mindset and track record as an independent investment manager really impressed us. Patrizia will enable us to expand our client reach in Europe and offer attractive infrastructure investment opportunities to Patrizia’s large international institutional and private investor base. The combination of our expertise, portfolio offering, and global footprint will bring many attractive long-term investment opportunities to all our stakeholders.”

Patrizia said the initial purchase price payment for the fully complementary acquisition is €67m payable in cash and Patrizia treasury shares.

The total purchase price is based on an earn-out structure and can reach a low three-digit EURm amount if ambitious mid-term revenue growth targets are met. The earn-out will also be paid in a combination of cash and Patrizia shares. Whitehelm shareholders have agreed to a lock-up period for the Patrizia consideration shares, fully aligned to the interests of Patrizia shareholders.

Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to take place in Q1 2022.