Acquisitions outweigh exits for Aurelius in 2016

In the first nine months of the year, the German listed investment company has made eight acquisitions and three exits, boosting annualised consolidated revenues to €2.8bn.

German listed investment company Aurelius Equity Opportunities made eight acquisitions in the first nine months of 2016, boosting its annualised consolidated revenues by 51 percent year on year to €2.8 billion.

Aurelius brought six new companies into its portfolio in the first half of the year, including three in the UK.

The company then completed a further two acquisitions over the summer, acquiring British cosmetic clinic operator The Hospital Group in July and construction and speciality scaffolder BSB Group, an add-on acquisition for B+P Gerüstbau, in August.

In May Aurelius agreed to sell its stake in denim fabric producer Tavex Europe to a Spanish consortium of investors just 12 months after acquiring it, as reported by Private Equity International. The transaction generated a 9x return for the firm.

This followed the sale of fidelis HR, a provider of HR-outsourcing services in the German-speaking region, in the first quarter, which generated a significant double-digit return.

These two sales, together with the sale of remaining shares in listed portfolio company Berentzen Group, resulted in inflows of €90 million for the period.

The portfolio operating EBITDA was down 13 percent to €84 million following the sales. The portfolio’s net asset value was €1.4 billion, up 8 percent on the previous year.

Dirk Markus, chairman of Aurelius Equity Opportunities’ executive board, said the nine-month results reflected “strong deal momentum in the UK and on the continent”.

“Having carried out two additional company disposals in the fourth quarter of 2016, we anticipate more corporate transactions in the coming months,” he said.

Markus added the firm sees “great potential” in its pending acquisition of the European assets of Office Depot, for which the firm submitted a binding offer in September. That deal is set to close in the coming months.

During the fourth quarter Aurelius also launched two share repurchase programmes of up to €52 million.

“With liquid funds of more than €360 million, we are in a strong position to continue our ongoing dynamic growth strategy using our own resources, as well as pursue an attractive dividend policy,” Markus said. “Furthermore, following the share repurchase programmes, we are also able to retain a major proportion of our profits within the company.”

Aurelius made 10 investments in 2015, as reported by PEI.

Aurelius has also expanded its team this year, hiring two UK operations professionals in the space of two weeks. Ed Akenhead and Ben Paice joined the firm as operations managers, and were placed at portfolio company Allied Healthcare.