EQT has acquired a majority ownership of Norway-based automated storage systems developer AutoStore.
The deal sees EQT tap its 2015-vintage €6.75bn large-cap buyout vehicle EQT VII.
Though the GP did not disclose the price, sources close to the deal told unquote" the deal is structured with an earn-out clause which gives the deal's EV a floor of NOK 4bn, or around 17x 2016 EBITDA. The source confirmed that AutoStore is projecting NOK 353m of EBITDA for FY 2017, reducing the entry multiple to around 13x.
The deal was supported by a NOK 1.3bn all-senior facility provided by a club consisting of SEB, Nordea, Danske Bank, DNB and Nykredit, priced at 375-425 bps above the Nordic interbank offered rate (Nibor).
According to a statement by EQT, AutoStore claims to have seen annual EBITDA growth around 80% since 2013 and top-line growth of 50%.
EQT acquired the business from a group of minority shareholder and Jakob Hatteland Holding. Hatteland held 67% of the shares in AutoStore prior to the buyout and will retain a 9% stake after, landing around NOK 3bn from the sale depending on earn-outs. Management will invest alongside the GP.
The transaction value was not disclosed and the deal is expected to close in 2017.
Headquartered in Åmsosen, AutoStore is a developer of automated storage and retrieval systems.
The company's system uses robotics to collect and store goods in warehouses. AutoStore was founded with the Norwegian Hatteland Group in 1990 and delivered the first system in 2005. Currently, the company has installed 130 systems across 22 countries.
It employs a staff of 140 and is projecting EBITDA of NOK 240m from revenues of NOK 500m in 2016, according to a statement by EQT.
EQT – Anders Misund (partner).
AutoStore – Karl Johan Lier (CEO).
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