NIB buys E315m Dutch payroll services group

The flow of debt-related disposals in Europe continues with the acquisition of Getronics’ payroll services business by NIB Capital Private Equity.

NIB Capital Private Equity, the Dutch private equity manager funded by its two founding shareholders ABP and PGGM, two of the largest pension funds in the world, has reached agreement with Dutch support services group Getronics over the terms of a E315m deal to acquire its payroll services unit.

NIB is backing management in a E315m offer for Getronics HR Solutions (GHRS), the largest provider of payroll services in the Netherlands. Parent company Getronics, which confirmed last month that it was planning to sell the business for around E300m, said the sale would yield a book gain of E270m.


Formerly known as RAET, the division has been part of Getronics since 1996. Since then the organisation has been expanded, partly as a result of acquisitions of a number of payroll processors. The current management team will continue to lead the company, which will trade under its former name RAET.


GHRS currently employs 650 people, servicing about 4,200 companies and institutions directly, in both the profit and non-profit sectors.


The transaction is in line with NIB Capital Private Equity’s strategy of investing in buyouts in Benelux and Germany. The firm, which also co-invests in buyout opportunities in Europe and North America, commits around 80 per cent of its E14.1bn under management to funds of funds.


Alexander van Wassenaer, buyouts partner of NIB Capital Private Equity, said: “In terms of size and activity, this transaction fits perfectly in our buyout portfolio. We invest in niche market leaders with a clear strategy and entrepreneurial management with a good track record, which we certainly found at GHRS.”


Euronext-listed Getronics is the latest European corporation forced into a sale of non-core operations. Getronics has struggled with bond repayments, for which it needs over E550m to repay two convertible bonds due in early 2004 and early 2005.


Concerns over the firm's financing problems have reduced the company's market capitalisation to E170m from over E10bn in March 2000.