ATP takes 12% of Nordic Capital deal

ATP Private Equity Partners, the private equity arm of Danish pension fund manager ATP, will co-invest alongside Nordic Capital to acquire Danish rescue and safety company Falck for over €700m.

A consortium led by Stockholm-headquartered Nordic Capital and comprising global investment manager ATP Private Equity Partners has made an recommended all-cash offer to acquire Copenhagen-listed Falck A/S for DKK5.3 billion (€713 million; $925 million).

Nordic holds 88 percent of Cidron, the offer acquisition vehicle, with ATP holding the remaining 12 percent. The offer has been unanimously recommended by Falck’s board of directors.

Falck provides safety and rescue services, including ambulances, throughout Denmark, employing more than 11,000 people. The division was formed earlier this year when Group 4 Falck demerged into Falck and Group 4.

The consortium stated that the offer price of DKK60 per share represented a premium of 17.1 percent on yesterday’s closing share price and in a letter to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange announced its intention to delist Falck should the offer be formally accepted.

The transaction is the fourth direct co-investment for ATP since its inception in 2001, according to managing partner Jens Bisgaard-Frantzen. The firm normally deploys capital through investing in private equity funds.

In 2003, the firm made a direct €20 million co-investment alongside European private equity house Cinven in the  acquisition of UK casino operator Gala. Bisgaard-Frantzen said the firm had a 'positive attitude' towards co-investing and was continuously seeking to make co-investments in the €5 – €25 million range.

According to ATP partner Torben Vangstrup, there was a “natural logic” in ATP’s involvement in the Falck deal. ATP is a limited partner in Nordic’s buyout funds. Moreover, ATP liked the opportunity because Falck is “a very Danish company”, according to Vangstrup.

ATP is sponsored by Danish Labour Market Supplementary Pension Scheme ATP and SP, the Special Pension Savings Scheme. It has an annual investment programme of between DKK3 and DKK4.5 billion.

ATP has previously invested in Nordic Capital IV and V funds. Nordic’s fifth buyout fund closed in April 2003 on €1.5 billion and is more than 30 percent invested at this stage.

Last month, the firm teamed up with Accent Equity Partners to acquire Swedish fashion retail chain KappAhl for SEK1.95 billion (€216 million; $275 million).