EQT sells sports company to itself

The deal for Sportradar marks the first time EQT has sold a company from one fund only to acquire it with another fund.

EQT’s Expansion Capital Fund II, a fund of Nordic-focused EQT, will sell its minority investment in Sportradar, a global provider of sports data, to EQT VI, according to a statement.

Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed. EQT VI, the firm’s flagship buyout fund, bought a controlling stake in the business, according to a source familiar with the matter.

EQT declined to comment beyond the statement.

It is understood the sale will yield a 3x return for EQT’s €474 million Expansion Capital Fund II. The transaction, which is subject to customary anti-trust approvals, is expected to be completed in June.

Sportradar is a global data provider of live sports information, odds solutions and fraud detection and prevention services for customers in the bookmaker, media and federation markets.

EQT Expansion Capital II invested in the company alongside the founder, chief executive officer and majority owner Carsten Koerl in July 2012.

Under EQT’s ownership, Sportradar has grown significantly, both in terms of top-line growth and profitability. This was achieved both by organic growth and add-on acquisitions, which allowed Sportradar to broaden its product portfolio and geographic reach, according to EQT.

EQT Expansion Capital II also supported the strengthening of the internal organisation by attracting new managers and improving internal processes.

It is the first time EQT has sold a business with one fund and acquired it with another. EQT Expansion Capital II is fully invested. Its successor is a €1.1 billion mid-market vehicle, which closed in January this year. It was created after EQT merged its Expansion Capital Fund team and Greater China Fund team.

The Mid Market Fund, led by Jan Ståhlberg, one of the founders and deputy managing partner of EQT, targets mid-market buyouts and growth equity investments in Northern Europe, Greater China and Southeast Asia. The firm aims to support both European and Asian companies in their international expansion efforts. “There is a significant opportunity to transfer business models and best practices across these geographies,” the firm said at the time.

EQT VI, a €4.81 billion 2011-vintage, focuses on buyouts in the Nordic region and German-speaking Europe. The fund’s equity tickets are typically between €100 million and €600 million. The vehicle has so far made 10 investments, including BSN Medical, which EQT acquired in August 2012 from Montagu Private Equity for €1.8 billion.