Allianz backs £773m vending machine carve-out

The private equity arm of German insurance giant Allianz is the new owner of 150,000 vending machines across Europe.

Allianz Capital Partners (ACP), the Munich-based private equity arm of Allianz Group, has agreed to acquire Selecta, a European vending machine business, from catering company Compass Group.

Upon completion in July, ACP will be paying £772.5 million ($1.53 billion; €1.13 billion) for the business on a debt- and cash-free basis.

Under the deal, a total of 150,000 vending machines in 22 countries will be changing hands. Selecta’s senior management led by chief executive Justin Tydeman will continue to manage the company.

The sale price represents 8.5 times Selecta’s 2006 EBITDA, the vendor said in a statement. Turnover to 30 September 2006 was £482 million. 
 
According to media reports, ACP had to overcome competition from Terra Firma Capital Partners, the London-based private equity group, to acquire the business.

Joerg Baldauf, a managing director at ACP, said the company had strong prospects to achieve further growth and build its market position in Europe.  

According to an ACP spokesperson, the firm likes to invest in market-leading companies as well as fragmented industry sectors that offer consolidation opportunities. Selecta had both characteristics, the spokesperson said. 

ACP, which is led by Thomas Puetter, was established in 1998 and has invested €2.4 billion of balance sheet capital in more than 20 transactions to date. Previous acquisitions include the leveraged buyouts of Four Seasons Health Care in the UK and Messer Griesheim, a German chemicals company.