H2 Equity Partners sells auto-parts distributor

The Amsterdam-headquartered firm received interest from a number of international private equity firms but sold Sator Holdings to trade buyer LKQ Corporation for $268m.

H2 Equity Partners has sold Sator Holdings, an importer and distributor of spare parts for the automotive market in the Benelux and northern France, to LKQ Corporation for $268 million, according to a statement. 

The sale was agreed after H2 received interest from a number of players, including a few international private equity firms, Harmen Geerts, a partner at H2, told Private Equity International

“Pretty quickly after the acquisition we received interest from buyers from different corners. LKQ is a suitable buyer for Sator because they are focused on growth and their strategy fits really well with the current strategy of Sator,” he said. 

Baird acted as financial advisor to LKQ in connection with the deal.

H2 bought a majority stake in Sator Holdings in 2009 using its third investment vehicle, H2 Equity Partners III, a €180 million 2007 vintage. 

This was an important investment in Fund III and this exit has been good for the overall performance of the fund

Harmen Geerts

“H2 has worked together with the management to further grow Sator in Holland, Belgium and the north of France. We have invested to expand the distribution network in the north of France and we supported product expansion.  We have also done a number of add-on acquisitions in the area of crash repair parts,” he said. 

H2 declined to comment on the return multiple. “This was an important investment in Fund III and this exit has been good for the overall performance of the fund,” Geerts said. Following the exit of Sator, H2 has made three divestments from this fund, while nine portfolio companies are yet to be exited. 

The firm is investing its H2 Equity Partners IV, a €300 million, 2011 vintage, which is less than one-third deployed. Last November, the firm acquired a majority stake in Hancocks Group, a UK confectionery wholesaler for an undisclosed amount. Last August, it acquired paper factory Parenco and paper recycling business Reparco from Norske Skog. In February, the firm bought Belgium glass manufacturer Durobor. 

H2, established in 1991, focuses on turnaround and growth investments in mid-sized companies in the Benelux, Germany and the UK. It has approximately €500 million under management.