HIG Europe continues prolific deal activity

The European arm of HIG Capital’s recent acquisition of The Losberger Group was its eleventh deal this year – and it remains bullish about the current market.

Last week, HIG Europe said it had bought The Losberger Group, a temporary structure supplier. The deal, which was worth in the region of €50 million, according to sources close to the firm, was HIG Europe’s eleventh investment of 2011.

The Losberger Group develops and supplies temporary and mobile building structures such as tents and exhibition halls. It is essentially event-driven, supplying temporary structures for military, humanitarian aid and industrial use among others. The business has 650 employees and revenues of over €100 million annually. HIG described the deal as a “deleveraged buyout”, since it will lead to the company having significantly reduced debt levels.

Recently, HIG Europe has invested in a wealth of sectors – from theme parks and waste management, to software and fibre optic cables. Geographically, it has also spread its investments across Europe, including France, Germany and the UK. In May this year, it invested in British bed retailer Silent Night.

HIG has experienced very high dealflow in recent months. Wolfgang Biedermann, a managing director from HIG Capital, told Private Equity International that HIG Europe continues to have an opportunistic investment strategy, with no particular geographical or sector focus.

Biedermann insisted that capital was readily available to finance borrowing for small and mid-cap transactions, so competition was rife. However, he believes the current uncertainties in markets – particularly concerning the eurozone – could force prices and leverage levels down from the high levels seen earlier this year as 2011 unfolds. 

Last month HIG bought into struggling UK marketing company Bezier, acquiring £70 million of its senior debt; it subsequently restructured its capital structure. As well as deleveraged buyout transactions like Bezier and Losberger, Biedermann told PE that HIG will continue to invest in growth capital and traditional leveraged buyout transactions.

HIG is currently investing from its HIG Europe fund, but would not disclose the fund’s current status.