Bolster Investments has acquired a 42.5% stake in Netherlands-based weather forecasting company Infoplaza.
The proceeds of the investment will fund the company's acquisition of market peer Weeronline from its Germany-based parent company, Holiday Check Group.
Asked about how the deal came about, Mark van Rijn, partner at Bolster Investments, told Unquote: "The deal started with Weeronline, which was part of Holiday Check Group – it was not a strategic asset for them, but Infoplaza was a logical buyer. The company was a little big for Infoplaza to buy themselves, but we got in touch with them about a partnership."
Bolster is currently investing via its debut fund, which held a final close in February 2018 on €160m. The fund deploys equity tickets of €5-20m and plans to make 12-15 investments; Infoplaza is the fund's fifth platform investment.
Financing for the deal was secured from incumbent lender Rabobank.
Bolster's investment strategy could involve add-ons in future, van Rijn said: "We always look for add-ons, but as this acquisition is a large takeover, we are in no rush. But there are opportunities in the market that we will certainly look at."
Asked about the firm's future deals, van Rijn told Unquote: "We're quite lucky to have a good pipeline. You see generally that debt financing is still hard to get for leveraged deals, although we don't usually do this – for businesses with direct owners with €3-6m EBITDA, the pipeline is good.
"Two deals per year is our ambition, but I would not rule out a third."
Founded in 2008, Infoplaza provides weather data for companies in the events, oil and gas, construction and marine industries, as well as for media organisations, and via websites and apps. The company is headquartered in Houten and also has operations in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. It has 70 employees.
Weeronline has 25 employees and is based in Amsterdam. The company was founded in 1995 and was acquired by Holiday Check Group in 2012. The business generated 2019 revenues of €4.9m.
The combined businesses will generate revenues of around €10m, serving 10 million individual users and 85% of Dutch media organisations.
Infoplaza – Menno Bom, René Westening (co-founders, directors).
Bolster Investments – Mark van Rijn (partner).
Vendor – Nielen Schuman (corporate finance).
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