European private equity firm Ergon Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Satlink – a Spain-based marine telecoms specialist – from Iberian PE peer Artá Capital.
Satlink founder Faustino Velasco sold his stake to Ergon, but reinvested in the company.
The GP is investing via Ergon Capital Partners V, which was registered in May 2021. The fund makes buyout investments in mid-market companies that operate in sectors including healthcare, consumer goods, leisure, media and niche industrials, primarily located in Benelux, Iberia, France, Italy and Germany. Houlihan Lokey EMEA was acting as an adviser to the fundraising process, according to Unquote Data.
Ergon's previous fund, Ergon Capital Partners IV, held a final close in March 2019 on EUR 580m, surpassing its target of EUR 500m. The fund focused on European mid-market companies targeting companies in the same sectors and geographies as its current fund, according to Unquote Data.
Artá acquired a majority stake of 60% in Satlink alongside its founder in May 2017; Velasco retained a 40% stake. According to previous annual accounts, Satlink posted 2020 EBITDA of EUR 20m and turnover of around EUR 55m. Satlink further reported a 2020 profit of EUR 1.99m, compared to the EUR 5.44m registered in the previous year. According to a press release, Artá has grown Satlink's EBITDA by more than 125% since its investment – though financials for 2021 were not disclosed.
According to a report by Expansion in December 2021, Ergon's acquisition of Satlink beat several private equity funds and an industrial bidder that had advanced to the second phase of the sale process. According to the report, finalists included private equity firms Platinum Equity and Star Capital; and Orbcomm, a US-based tech company backed by GI Partners. The transaction was expected at the time to exceed EUR 200m.
Ergon and Artá had not returned a request for comment at the time of publication.
Satlink was founded in 1992 by Faustino Velasco and is headquartered in Madrid. The engineering company specialises in satellite telecommunications for the maritime industry, allowing it to improve fishing controls and traceability.
It has around 100 employees, according to a press release.
Ergon Capital Partners – Pablo Álvarez Couso (managing director).
Artá Capital – Ramón Carné (managing partner).
Satlink – Faustino Velasco (founder and chairman).
Equity – AZ Capital (financial due diligence).
Vendor – PJT Partners (financial due diligence).
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