HIG Europe books 4x on first UK deal

The sale of Europa comes roughly five months after HIG Europe closed its second Europe-focused fund.

HIG Europe has sold Europa, a facility management business based in London, to Bilfinger SE.

Financial details were undisclosed, but a source with knowledge of the situation said the deal generates a return of 4x.

HIG Europe acquired Europa in 2008. The company provides technical, infrastructural and facility management support services to companies in the UK and Ireland. Its customers include L’Oreal, Alexandra Palace, Haringey Council and Northern Gas Networks.

Under HIG Europe’s ownership, Europa completed four add-on acquisitions and helped increase revenues fivefold to over £160 million, according to a statement.

“Despite the economic downturn, Europa has continued to deliver strong growth, executed strategic acquisitions well and delivered high quality earnings,” Canning, a managing director of HIG Europe, said in the statement.

The investment in Europa marks HIG Europe’s first investment in the UK and first deal from its maiden European fund, a €600 million, 2007-vintage, according to Private Equity International’s Research and Analytics division.

HIG Europe was unavailable for comment at press time.

The divestment of Europa comes a few months after HIG Europe successfully closed its second dedicated European equity fund at €825 milion, above its €750 million hard-cap, PEI reported in July. The firm will use this fund for buyouts and growth capital investments in the lower mid-market in Western Europe.

In May, HIG Europe sold Anvis Group, an automotive supplier of road safety products, to trade buyer Tokai Rubber Industries for an undisclosed amount. The same month, HIG made its first investment in Scandinavia by acquiring Freedom Finance Nordic, a consumer loan broker operating in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

HIG Europe has four offices in Europe — in London, Paris, Hamburg. It also has an office in Madrid, which it opened in the beginning of last year. The firm has more than €10 billion of equity capital under management, according to its website.