Sweden-based EQT AB, one of Europe’s biggest private equity firms, has agreed to acquire Exeter Property Group (Exeter), a global real estate investment manager with more than $10bn of assets under management, in a deal worth $1.87 billion.
”Total consideration of USD 1,870m, comprising new EQT AB shares USD 800m and cash USD 1,070m (including refinancing of USD 300m of existing Exeter debt),” said the company in a statement.
Majority owned by Ward Fitzgerald and other Exeter management team, Exeter, founded in 2006, is focused on acquiring, developing and managing logistics/industrial, life science/office and residential properties mainly across the US and Europe.
EQT said the transaction is part of its strategic growth ambitions within real estate and creates a scaled thematic investment platform across North America and Europe.
For 2020, Exeter is expected to generate approximately USD 135m in revenues and approximately USD 80m in EBITDA (excluding carried interest). The proposed consideration is expected to equate to a mid-teens EBITDA multiple on a run-rate basis at completion.
“We are excited to accelerate our strategy of building a globally-scaled real estate platform and diversifying the firm within private markets by joining forces with Exeter. We have a high bar for strategic M&A, and Exeter is one of the few opportunities we have identified which clears and well surpasses it. With its value-creation-focused investment approach, one of the strongest track-records in value-add real estate globally, and importantly, a people-and-performance-centric culture, we are all well-aligned. I am delighted to welcome Ward and the Exeter team to the EQT family, and we are looking forward to working together to take EQT Exeter to the next level,” said Christian Sinding, CEO and Managing Partner of EQT AB.
“EQT is a fantastic strategic and cultural fit for our business. We share a similar philosophy and investment approach, and we have a complementary global platform which can accelerate the growth of opportunities that we make available to both current and future clients. For our day-to-day activities, it will be business as usual. We will continue to be fully focused on driving returns by utilizing our unique local execution of small and mid-cap acquisitions, adhering to our real estate solutions ethic to our over 1,200 corporate client/tenants and directly performing our own leasing, property management and development. We are excited about the opportunity ahead of us to become more of a global leader in real estate by teaming with EQT,” said Ward Fitzgerald, CEO and Founder of Exeter.