AAC Benelux seals first deal from new fund

An investment in Lubbers, an oil and gas logistics business, comes shortly after the closing of the firm’s new Fund III.

AAC Capital Benelux, the Benelux team of former ABN AMRO spin-out AAC Capital Partners, has acquired a 65 percent stake in Lubbers Transport Group, a logistics services company for the upstream oil and gas market in Europe.

Financial details of the investment were not disclosed, but AAC Capital Benelux typically leads buyouts with deal value ranging between €50 million and €350 million, according to the firm’s website.

Lubbers’ current chief executive Ger Engelsman and the existing management team have invested alongside AAC Capital Benelux.

The business, which is headquartered in Schoonebeek and Newcastle, has a pan-European network of 11 bases in oil and gas locations in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania, Poland and Norway. It employs 270 people.

The investment marks the first acquisition from AAC Capital Benelux’s Fund III, which closed in late September. The firm declined to disclose the exact amount it raised, but AAC Capital Benelux’s managing partner and chairman Marc Staal, told Private Equity International in November that the firm collected “a few hundred million” and said the fund size was below €500 million.

AAC Nordic, AAC Capital UK and AAC Capital Benelux spun out of ABN AMRO following the bank’s takeover by an RBS-led syndicate in September 2007. A large part of ABN AMRO’s existing private equity portfolio was then transferred to the investment team, with the backing of Goldman Sachs, AlpInvest and CPPB. Benelux Fund III is the first vehicle raised separately from the UK and Nordic teams.

The collective AAC teams have approximately €1.7 billion under management across two funds, AAC Capital NEBO Fund I, a €653.3 million 2007 vintage, and AAC Capital NEBO Fund II, a €964.5 million 2009 vintage, according to Private Equity International’s Research & Analytics division.

These funds continue to be managed by the UK team, the Nordic team and the Benelux team. The vehicles can’t make any new investments, but there’s still room for add on acquisitions, Staal said in November.

For an in depth look at the current market conditions in the Benelux, click here to read PEI’s country report, which features in our December and January issue.