Pamplona taps AAC partner for Benelux push

The firm has hired Olaf Tensen, a former partner at Dutch mid-market firm AAC Capital, to drive up investments in the region.

Pamplona Capital Management is planning to ramp up investments in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Olaf Tensen
Olaf Tensen

The New York and London-based firm has hired Olaf Tensen, a former partner at Amsterdam-based mid-market firm AAC Capital, as its country partner for Benelux, according to a statement.

Tensen spent 16 years specialising in mid-market buyouts in the consumer, industrial and business services sectors at AAC.

In this newly created role, Tensen will be responsible for deal sourcing and managing the firm’s investments in the region. The firm does not have an office in the Benelux region, and Tensen will be based in Amsterdam, a spokesman for the firm told Private Equity International.

With its latest move, the firm will be able to tap “one of the key economic regions in Europe with excellent dealflow”, the spokesman said. The firm, which had previously made investments in Benelux including in Luxembourg-based Beacon Rail Lasing, has no set target on how much capital it will deploy in the region, he added.

Capital deployed into the Benelux region has risen steadily since 2015, increasing by 50 percent from 2017 to 2018 to a total of €23.6 billion, according to the latest EMEA Private Equity Market Snapshot from S&P Global Market Intelligence. During the period, the Benelux region pulled in €67.8 billion across 1,404 deals, amounting to a 10 percent share of aggregate private equity capital deployed into the EMEA region.

The IT sector dominated deal activity across sectors, with 490 deals or close to a third of total deals recorded during January 2014 to end-December. Looking at sectors, materials, industrials and IT received the most capital at €18 billion (27 percent), €11.5 billion (17 percent) and €9.1 billion (13 percent), respectively. The Netherlands accounted for 69 percent of all IT deals.

According to the report, the stability of entry deal counts makes for an interesting contrast to the current trend of financial companies, spurred by Brexit concerns around future access to European markets, the report noted.

In total, 36 financial companies including London-headquartered 3i Group and buyout giant Blackstone said they are looking to relocate to the Benelux region as a result of Brexit, with Luxembourg emerging as the favoured destination.

Pamplona, a sector generalist, targets equity investments of between $50 million and $125 million, according to PEI data. The firm is deploying two funds: its $3.2 billion Pamplona Capital Partners V raised in 2017 and the 2016-vintage, $1 billion Pamplona TMT Fund I.

It has over $12 billion of assets under management and operates offices across London, New York, Boston, Madrid, Malta and Monaco, according to its website.