EQT becomes largest hotel owner in Nordic region(2)

EQT, the regional buyout firm, has bought Scandic Hotels from Hilton Hotels helping the US group reduce its debt.

EQT, the Nordic buyout group, has acquired Scandic Hotels, the largest hotel chain in the region, from Hilton Hotels Corporation for €833 million.

Scandic has 132 hotels and more than 23,000 rooms in 9 countries in northern Europe.  In 2006, the company reported sales in excess of SEK 6 billion and has approximately 5,700 employees.

This is the second acquisition this week for EQT, a Stockholm-based buyout firm partly owned by the Swedish billionaire Wallenberg family. The firm bought medical-equipment maker Dako Kenmark for DKr7.25 billion ($1.3 billion).

Last month Investor, the Wallenberg vehicle, halved its stake in EQT’s management firm, selling 36 percent back to partners.

Caspar Callerström, partner at EQT Partners, said “Scandic fits in well with EQT’s strategy of investing in well-managed, market leading companies with growth potential. It is our ambition to further strengthen the company’s position on the markets where hitherto the market potential has not been exploited in full.”

The sale is conditional on approval from the relevant competition authorities.

Handelsbanken, CIBC and KPMG have acted as financial advisors, Vinge as legal advisor and Bain as commercial advisor to EQT.