EQT Infrastructure to make majority investment in Spirit Communications


  • EQT Infrastructure to invest in majority stake in Spirit Communications, a leading pure-play fiber based data and broadband service provider in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia in the U.S.; the current owners will retain a significant stake in the company
  • Spirit operates in the highly attractive fiber infrastructure sector, a core market for EQT where it holds significant industry expertise
  • Spirit and EQT Infrastructure are jointly committed to continue to provide high quality services to current and future customers and to continue the growth of the company

The EQT Infrastructure III fund (“EQT Infrastructure” or “the fund”) has signed a definitive agreement to invest in a majority stake of Spirit Communications (“Spirit” or “the company”) from its founding partners who will retain a significant ownership interest in the company.  Following the transaction, Spirit Communications President and CEO Robert Keane and current Chairman of the Board of Spirit Brian Singleton will each be appointed to the new Board of Directors.

Founded in 1985, Spirit is a leading pure-play provider of fiber based data and broadband services to enterprises, governments, and wireless carriers in the Carolinas and Georgia. The company’s network is comprised of over 9,000 miles of fiber and serves thousands of customers across 17 metro markets.  Spirit’s fiber is directly connected to over 2,400 buildings as well as over 2,500 cell sites.

EQT Infrastructure will invest in the continued development of Spirit’s fiber footprint and services. The company is expected to benefit from the underlying macro trends of growing data traffic and increasing data bandwidth needs.

Robert Keane, President and CEO of Spirit Communications, commented, “After many months of effort to identify the right partner to continue and accelerate Spirit’s capabilities, EQT was identified as the type of partner that would help transform the business. EQT has had a long and storied history beginning with the heritage of the Wallenberg family which has significant investments in many household names in North America, such as, Electrolux, AstraZeneca and Ericsson to name a few. I am very excited to join the new board and to work with EQT on the continued growth of Spirit.”

Jan Vesely, Director at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to the fund, added: “We are very impressed with what the management team and the current owners have been able to achieve with the company and are thrilled about the opportunity to invest in the future growth and development of Spirit. The company is a perfect match for EQT Infrastructure’s expertise in the fiber sector and strategy to build a platform for growth in the region.”

Brian Singleton, CEO of TruVista and Chairman of Spirit Communications, stated, “Spirit has been an essential part of the fabric of each of our companies since 1985, supporting the needs of the Member Companies while enhancing the communications infrastructure for our customers. This partnership with EQT Infrastructure gives us a unique platform for even greater success in the years to come.”

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

TD Securities and Waller Capital Partners, LLC served as co-financial advisors to Spirit in connection with the transaction. McNair Law Firm, P.A. served as legal counsel to Spirit in connection with the transaction.  Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius LLP served as legal advisors to EQT Infrastructure.

Media Contact
Grey Humphrey
Chief Marketing Officer
+1 (803) 726-4080

EQT Press office: +46-8-506 55 334 (International media)

KEKST: + 1 (212) 521 4800 (US media)
Daniel Yunger or Ross Lovern, daniel.yunger@kekst.com / ross.lovern@kekst.com

About Spirit Communications
Headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, Spirit uses traditional and advanced technologies to connect people around the corner, throughout the Carolinas, and beyond, enabling customers to transform their operations through fast, stable and secure offerings that flex with business demand. With the most advanced technologies, Spirit provides voice, data, Internet and fiber optic solutions along with a full suite of Cloud services to Enterprise, Carrier and Government customers across the Southeast. As a leading provider, Spirit serves thousands of customers in over 150 service locations with over 9,000 miles of fiber throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

More info: www.spiritcom.com

About EQT
EQT is a leading alternative investments firm with approximately EUR 37 billion in raised capital across 24 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com


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EQT Mid Market US acquires Data Intensity


  • EQT Mid Market US acquires Data Intensity, a leading independent provider of mission-critical application and database managed services
  • EQT Mid Market US to support the continued growth trajectory of Data Intensity by leveraging EQT’s global network and relationships, experience in scaling international businesses as well as deep knowledge of the Software and IT Services industries

The EQT Mid Market US fund (“EQT Mid Market US”) today announced that it has acquired Data Intensity (“Data Intensity” or the “Company”) from Audax Private Equity. Data Intensity is a leading independent provider of mission-critical application and database managed services.

Founded in 2001, Data Intensity helps its customers increase the value of their enterprise software and improve the efficiency of critical business processes. The Company cost-effectively supports the full scope of a customer’s enterprise data, making their most critical applications and data manageable and actionable. The Company manages more than 3,000 application instances and 10,000 databases across multiple IT environments including on-premise, private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud. Data Intensity is headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts with over 650 employees and operations in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Australia, and India.

Brendan Scollans, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market US, said: “We have been impressed by Data Intensity’s industry leading technical and functional capabilities, talented management team, and track record of delighting its customers. CEO Kirk Arnold and her team have built a world-class platform that is well positioned for increased momentum in the U.S. and internationally. EQT’s expertise in the technology and services sectors, along with its global network, will accelerate the company’s growth and expansion strategy.”

Kirk Arnold, CEO of Data Intensity, said: “As enterprises in data-intensive industries continue the shift to the hybrid cloud, we enjoy an emerging growth opportunity at the intersection of our expertise in application managed services, public and private cloud delivery platforms, and flexible business models. EQT’s investment will help us expand our portfolio of services, enter new markets and incorporate new service-oriented tools and technologies to capitalize on this trend while, above all else, continuing to focus on delivering world-class service to our customers.”

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to EQT. Jefferies LLC and DH Capital LLC served as financial advisors to Data Intensity. Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal advisor to Data Intensity and Audax Private Equity. Golub Capital provided financing for the transaction.

EQT Press Office, +46 8 506 55 334
Brendan Scollans, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT, +1 (917) 281 0849
KEKST: + 1 (212) 521 4800 (US media) Daniel Yunger or Ross Lovern,
daniel.yunger@kekst.com / ross.lovern@kekst.com

About EQT
EQT is a leading alternative investments firm with approximately EUR 37 billion in raised capital across 24 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in the US, Europe, and Asia with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence, and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About Data Intensity
Data Intensity is a leading independent managed services provider for enterprise databases, applications, business intelligence solutions and analytics. Our expertise in applications, infrastructure and cloud platforms helps organizations optimize their software investments and business processes, achieving higher availability, performance, velocity and scalability. Our solutions combine best-in-category technology, world-class services, a flexible business model and deep expertise gained from partnering with our customers. Our goal is to cost-effectively support the full scope of a customer’s enterprise data lifecycle, making their most critical applications and data manageable and actionable.

More info: www.dataintensity.com

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Livingbridge invest in Symphony Ventures


Livingbridge, the mid-market private equity firm, today announces its investment in Symphony Ventures, a global services firm focused on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation.

The £3.5m series A investment will be used to fuel continued rapid expansion to meet demand for Robotic Process Automation services.

Our funding will further accelerate Symphony’s rapid growth – including a doubling of employee numbers – and continue its glo­­­­­bal expansion, increasing delivery capacity and widening product development. Symphony also welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors: Henry Alty of Livingbridge, and Bill Thomas, managing partner of Acresis – a founder advisory firm that supports Symphony on its growth and liquidity goals – joins as Chairman of the Board.

Symphony was founded in 2014 and provides consulting, implementation and managed services to enterprise clients looking to automate operational processes that are manual, repetitive, complex and time consuming through RPA and Intelligent Automation solutions. RPA can yield improvements in speed, accuracy, quality and compliance while delivering significant cost savings. Employees can be freed up to focus on more dynamic, engaging work while customers can experience higher satisfaction levels through improved interactions.

Organizations in all industries are increasingly adopting RPA for front, middle and back office functions ranging from human resources, to finance and accounting, to procurement to logistics. The RPA industry has demonstrated rapid growth in recent years and according to HfS Research, the market is expected to reach £920 million ($1.2 billion) by 2021*. Symphony was ranked the #1 RPA Pure Play Specialist by HfS Research in 2016** and recognized by Gartner as a Cool Vendor in 2015***. Symphony’s client portfolio includes firms in more than 21 countries in financial services, telecommunications, health care, logistics and the public sector.

Symphony’s founders have been at the forefront of work innovation for two decades as former Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry executives and have a combined 70+ years of market experience. The team recognized early on that automation had the potential to unleash significant value for enterprises. Led by Chief Executive Officer David Poole, Chief Strategy Officer Ian Barkin, Chief Client Officer Pascal Baker and Chief Operations Officer David Brain, Symphony has grown in just three short years into an unrivaled 120-person strong team of talented professionals worldwide, known for delivering some of the most complex and impactful RPA solutions.

Livingbridge has experience in working with high-growth technology companies, having invested in firms such as email signature software company Exclaimer, B2B connectivity and internet infrastructure provider M24Seven and field force automation software provider Kirona. The investment in Symphony Ventures uses funds from the Baronsmead Venture Trusts.

CEO David Poole said:

“We are delighted to be working with Livingbridge. We had a choice of partners and selected Livingbridge for its strong track record of helping founders achieve rapid growth, while respecting the company and the culture in place.

“Across the globe, we’re seeing exceptional demand for enterprise-grade RPA, and Livingbridge’s vision of the market proved to be one of the most strategic and insightful about how we can meet client needs and, by doing so, further accelerate Symphony’s growth and expansion.”

Henry Alty of Livingbridge said:

“Symphony Ventures has swiftly developed a strong position in the rapidly growing RPA and Intelligent Automation space, a multi-billion-pound sector we have monitored since its inception. Symphony’s impressive founding leadership team has developed a compelling proposition for its clients, and we are excited to be working with them to further accelerate Symphony’s growth.”

Symphony will use the investment to expand hiring within its core markets in the U.S., U.K. and Poland, and to extend its capabilities into new geographies. The company plans to at least double its current team size over the next 12 months. The company will also continue to invest in product development and broaden its service catalog to bring new, high-demand offerings to market. Symphony plans to introduce an innovation lab that will provide infrastructure to allow feasibility assessments of RPA and other new ecosystem technologies.

Additionally, Symphony will use the funding to address the explosive demand for RPA skills in the market by developing training programs for enterprises to scale RPA teams and train RPA developers side-by-side with the company’s experts. The funding will also support a new service category that will offer lower risk RPA-centric outsourcing solutions that create higher value for clients than traditional BPO.

Symphony works with a leading roster of RPA and Intelligent Automation software providers including Blue Prism, UiPath, NICE Systems, Kryon Systems and Celaton. The company continues to expand its digital ecosystem of tools and capabilities – responding to changing market trends – to be able to offer expanded solutions for clients.

“RPA is extremely complex and requires a unique set of process and technical skills,” said Phil Fersht, HfS Research. “Businesses understand the great benefits the technology can offer, but lack the know-how to effectively select and manage solutions so that they deliver the greatest return based on their specific goals and applications. As a result, demand for skilled expertise from RPA specialists like Symphony Ventures is unprecedented.”








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Captek Softgel International Acquires J+D Labs

Swander Pace

Captek Softgel International Acquires J+D Labs

Cerritos and Vista, CA – August 4, 2017 – California-based Captek Softgel International, Inc. (CSI), a leading contract manufacturer of custom dietary supplements is pleased to announce its acquisition of J+D Labs Pharma Manufacturing, Inc. Captek Softgel International is a portfolio company of Swander Pace Capital, and the acquisition of J+D Labs is a continuation of SPC’s focus on investing in and growing industry-leading vitamin, mineral, and supplement companies.

For decades J+D Labs has been well recognized in the nutraceutical industry as a first-class manufacturer of health and wellness supplements producing more than 1,000 unique formulations. More recently J+D Labs has brought NutraStock® to the market, more than 250 bulk stock dietary supplements manufactured in the USA.

Captek CEO David Wood said this union will result in a greater diversity of offerings and services within the supplement channel. “We have long regarded J+D Labs’ reputation and the significance of what they bring to the table as a leader in the industry,” he said. J+D Labs’ extensive experience manufacturing a wide-range of softgels, specialized tablets, capsules, and powder formulations was a perfect complement to Captek’s offerings. Wood stated, “Going forward, we are committed to our collective success through focusing on our customers,  sharing best practices,  and continuing our best-in-class quality and compliance standards.”

“This acquisition is positive for everyone: for our employees, our suppliers, our customers, and the end-users,” said J+D Labs owner, Jay Majmudar. CSI is well established in more than 20 countries. “We are happy to play a key role in helping to expand distribution even further. We will continue to make quality, price, and timely delivery a top priority,” emphasized Majmudar.

The newly joined companies will continue to produce high quality products in both Cerritos and Vista, CA. This will give customers the business continuity planning they have long sought by having the ability to have their products manufactured at either site. As a result, more than 300,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehousing, and analytical testing labs will immediately bring to market greater capacity, expertise, comprehensive turnkey packaging, the benefits of enteric coating, and more.

In the coming months the combined company will work with its customer-facing teams to communicate its newly expanded product and service offerings to both existing and prospective customers.


About Captek Softgel International, Inc.

Captek Softgel International, Inc. (CSI) is a privately-owned, FDA registered and audited, GMP-certified, full-service contract manufacturer of custom dietary supplement formulations.

CSI features high efficiency encapsulation lines operating 24/5, capable of producing more than three billion softgels annually. The facility encompasses approximately 163,000 square feet of production, analytical laboratory, pilot laboratory, and warehousing space. Captek fully complies with FDA cGMP’s and has been independently certified by NSF International. For more information, visit www.capteksoftgel.com.


About Swander Pace Capital

Swander Pace Capital (SPC) is a private equity firm that invests in companies that are integral to consumers’ lives. SPC’s consumer industry expertise informs the firm’s strategic approach and adds value through access to its proven SPC Playbook, senior team and extensive network. The firm partners with management teams to help build companies to their full potential. SPC invests in businesses across three domains of consumer lifestyles: Food & Beverage, Body & Wellness and Home & Family. With offices in San Francisco, New Jersey and Toronto, SPC has invested in more than 45 companies and raised cumulative equity commitments of approximately $1.8 billion since 1996. SPC’s current investments in the vitamin, mineral, and supplement industry include Captek Softgel International, Inc., Swanson Health Products, and Reliance Holdings, in additional to its prior ownership of ReNew Life Formulas, Inc. and Santa Cruz Nutritionals. For more information, visit www.spcap.com.


About J+D Labs Pharma Manufacturing, Inc.

J+D Labs is a privately-owned, premier, custom manufacturer of nutraceuticals based in Vista, California. With more than 25 years’ experience in the industry, they have grown their business to include more than 300 team members including pharmacists, microbiologists, administrative staff, skilled technicians, engineers and chemists—all working together in a state-of-the-art, 135,000-square-foot facility to produce the highest quality dietary supplements. For more information visit www.jdlabs.com.

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Mizuho Financial Group and WiL Establish Joint Venture focused on New Business Creation

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Mizuho Financial Group and WiL Establish Joint Venture Focused on New Business Creation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (President & CEO: Koji Fujiwara) , a core subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (Presid
ent & Group CEO: Yasuhiro Sato), and WiL LLC. (CEO: Gen Isayama, referred to along with its subsidiaries
as “WiL Group” below) are pleased to announce the establishment of Blue Lab, Co., Ltd. (President, CEO, & Representative Director: Daisuke Yamada) for the purpose of creating new business.
Blue Lab aims to drive business generation through innovative technological advances, including
those being made by shareholders who have contributed to the establishment of the company (listed
below) in their own fields. More specifically, Blue Lab is focused on the creation and commercialization of next
-generation business models through FinTech initiatives such as the creation of a global settlement platform,
development of software to automate operational tasks using AI and big data, and optimization of
supply chain management and trade finance through commercialization of blockchain technology, as
well as through IoT-related advancements within the shareholders’ respective industries and in general.
Mizuho is committed to pursuing the incorporation of new, innovative technologies into our
business in order to provide customers with consistently better services.

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Allianz and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to invest in Gas Natural Fenosa’s gas distribution business in Spain


Allianz Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPPIB”), through its wholly owned subsidiary, CPP Investment Board Europe S.a.r.l., signed an agreement today with Gas Natural Fenosa (“GNF”) to acquire a 20% minority equity interest in its gas distribution business in Spain (“GNDB”).

Allianz Capital Partners, on behalf of the Allianz Group, and CPPIB will invest EUR 1,500 m for the 20% equity interest. The equity investments for Allianz Capital Partners and CPPIB are EUR 600 million and EUR 900 million, respectively. Allianz Capital Partners and CPPIB are long-term infrastructure investors with significant experience investing in regulated utilities, including the gas sector, and with a strong track-record of partnering with strategic investors in infrastructure businesses.

“GNDB represents an attractive opportunity for our customers and is fully aligned with our investment strategy of investing in core infrastructure assets. We are very pleased to be entering into a new partnership with GNF as a leading international energy group and look forward to further strengthening our relationship with GNF and CPPIB and to support the continued success of this high quality business,” said Christian Fingerle, Chief Investment Officer at Allianz Capital Partners.

“GNDB is a core infrastructure asset that fits well with CPPIB’s infrastructure portfolio, providing long-term stable cash flows for the CPP Fund. We look forward to establishing an enduring partnership with GNF and Allianz in this world-class business, and in adding to our investments in Spain,” said Cressida Hogg, Managing Director, Global Head of Infrastructure, CPPIB.

GNDB is the largest gas distribution network in Spain with more than 5.3 million connection points and serving some 1,100 municipalities. It serves a geographically diversified residential and industrial customer base across Spain, providing its customers with access to a cost-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly source of energy. Post transaction, GNF will continue to own an 80% equity shareholding in GNDB, which will remain a core part of GNF’s portfolio.

Commenting on this agreement, Rafael Villaseca Marco, Chief Executive of GNF, said, “GNDB is a premium asset in the gas sector in Spain and essential part of our investment strategy. We welcome the opportunity to partner with these two well renowned long-term infrastructure investors and continue to invest in further expanding the gas network in Spain and maintaining high efficiency of operations and quality of customer service.”

Completion of the transaction, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals, is expected by January 2018.

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Partners Group acquires CB16 office tower in La Défense

Partners Group logo

Partners Group acquires CB16 office tower in La Défense

Paris Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has agreed to acquire an office building, CB16Tower, in the La Défense business district of Paris, France, on behalf of its clients.

The purchase price for the building is EUR 170million. CB16 Tower is a 28-story building with a total floor area of 30,000 square meters situated in one of Paris’ prime business Districts, with excellent public transport links to the Greater Paris area. Constructed in 1971, the building underwent a complete renovation In 2003 to provide an efficient, modern, high -standard property with green certification.

Partners Group will partner with local operator Aquila Asset Management in order to actively manage the property on behalf of existing and future tenants, with plans to execute a value-added business plan including renovation in order to improve the property’s occupancy.

Mike Bryant, Managing Director, Co-Head Private Real Estate, Partners Group, comments: “La Défense is experiencing a steady recovery in demand for office space compared to previous years and the acquisition of CB16 Tower is a great way to gain exposure to the area at a good point in the cycle.

Given the visibility on income this investment brings and the quality of the building, the tower fits well with Partners Group’s relative value focus on acquiring office property below replacement cost in decentralized locations in Tier 1 cities, where pricing does not yet reflect attractive fundamentals.”

About Partners Group

Partners Group is a global private markets investment management firm with over EUR 57 billion (USD 66billion) in investment programs under management in private equity, private real estate, private infrastructure and private debt. The firm manages a broad range of customized portfolios for an international clientele of institutional investors. Partners Group is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and has offices in San Francisco, Denver, Houston, New York, São Paulo, London,

Guernsey, Paris, Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Manila, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney. The firm employs over 950 people and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (symbol: PGHN) with a major ownership by its partners and employees.


Investor relations contact

Philip Sauer

Phone: +41 41 784 66 60

Email: philip.sauer@partnersgroup.com


Media relations contact

Jenny Blinch

Phone: +41 41 784 65 26

Email: jenny.blinch@partnersgroup.com



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Ardian takes majority stake in CNC technology company imes-icore

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Ardian takes majority stake in CNC technology company imes-icore

Eiterfeld/Frankfurt, August 2nd 2017 – Ardian, the independent private investment company, today announces the acquisition of a majority stake in imes-icore GmbH (imes-icore), a specialist manufacturer of computer numerical control (CNC) and computer aided design/manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems predominantly focusing on the medical industry, and headquartered in Eiterfeld, Germany.

Ardian will acquire the stake from current majority shareholder, Hugo Isert, as part of a succession planning programme. Current CEO, Christoph Stark, will retain a significant minority stake, and will continue to manage the business. In the course of this transaction, members of the management team will also become shareholders in the company.


imes-icore was founded in 2002 by Hugo Isert and Christoph Stark, and develops, produces and sells specialist CNC-CAD/CAM systems for milling, water jet and laser cutting, and 3D printing. The company has close to 150 employees and in 2016 generated sales of approximately EUR 30 million.

imes-icore’s main competency lies in machine systems for the automated production of dentures such as dental caps and bridges, implant superstructures or prostheses. The company’s products are used in dental laboratories, clinics and dental milling centres. imes-icore also offers specialized industrial production solutions for numerous industries such as e.g. jewellery, orthopaedic and automotive sectors as well as for model/mould construction. Sales to customers in more than 100 countries are handled primarily through distribution partners.

With the support of Ardian, imes-icore plans to increase its range of services and key account management as well as expanding internationally, both organically and through targeted acquisitions.

Christoph Stark, CEO and co-founder of imes-icore, said: “The partnership with Ardian is an important milestone in the development of imes-icore. Ardian’s extensive industrial experience, financial strength and global platform will support us in realising our potential for national and international growth. Our well-established brand, unique product and service portfolio, and clear focus on innovation is valued by customers worldwide. We intend to grow our strong market position in our core segment by further building on our dental laboratories business as well as expanding our activities in the segments of practice laboratories and automated systems for milling centres. We will continue to develop these specific market segments going forward, on both the product development and sales sides.”

Marc Abadir, Managing Director of Ardian Expansion, said: “imes-icore is acknowledged throughout the industry as a leading provider of innovative technology solutions for the dental sector. It has significant potential for growth in a fragmented market environment, led by a highly capable CEO, Christoph Stark. We look forward to supporting the company and management team in realising the firm’s potential for growth.”

This is the fifth investment of Ardian Expansion Fund IV which closed at €1 billion in 2016. The fund invests in high-growth companies with a value of up to EUR 225 million in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.

The transaction remains subject to approval from the competition authorities, and financial details have not been disclosed.


Ardian, founded in 1996 and led by Dominique Senequier, is an independent private investment company with assets of US$62 billion managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia. The company, which is majority-owned by its employees, keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and delivers investment performance to its global investors while fuelling growth in economies across the world. Ardian’s investment process embodies three values: excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship.

Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 460 employees working through twelve offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Zurich. The company offers its 580 investors a diversified choice of funds covering the full range of asset classes, including Ardian Funds of Funds (primary, early secondary and secondary), Ardian Private Debt, Ardian North America Direct Buyout, Direct Funds (Ardian Mid Cap Buyout, Ardian Expansion, Ardian Growth, Ardian Co-Investment), Ardian Infrastructure, Ardian Real Estate and customized mandate solutions with Ardian Mandates.


Imes-icore was established in 2002 as a spin-off from the isel Group, which has been in business since 1972. The company currently has around 150 employees at its Eiterfeld site. It develops, produces and sells specialist CNC-CAD/CAM systems for milling, water jet and laser cutting as well as 3D-printing. The firm’s products are used in dental laboratories, clinics and dental milling centres. imes-icore also offers specialized industrial production solutions for numerous industries such as e.g. jewellery, orthopaedic and automotive sectors as well as for model/mould construction. Sales to customers in more than 100 countries are handled primarily through distribution partners. imes-icore generated sales of around EUR 30 million in 2016.


Ardian Team: Marc Abadir, Dirk Wittneben, Yannic Metzger, Max Dolata
Financial: Deloitte (Egon Sachsalber)
Commercial: L.E.K. (Tobias Kösters, Nicole Damani)
Legal Corporate: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Dr. Christoph Brenner, Dr. Fabian von Samson)
Legal Finance: Willkie, Farr & Gallagher (Jan Wilms)
Tax: Taxess (Gerald Thomas, Richard Schäfer)
Insurance: Aon (Dr. Christoph von Lehmann)
M&A Advisory: Raymond James (Dirk-Oliver Löffler)
Debt Advisory: DC Advisory (Daniel Gebler)
M&A Advisory (sell-side): UniCredit (Michael Bälz, Garbor Grailach)
Legal (sell-side): McDermott, Will & Emery (Dr. Clemens Just, Norman Wasse)

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Investment in Middle eastern bakery business

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Investment in the Middle Eastern bakery business via the Gulf Japan Food Fund, a Private Equity fund set up to promote exports to that region -Supporting expansion of Japanese food and agricultural exports-


In July 2017, the Gulf Japan Food Fund (below: “GJFF”), owned by investors including Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (President & CEO: Koji Fujiwara) and The Norinchukin Bank (President & CEO:Yoshio Kono), invested in Yamanote Atelier Restaurant LLC (below: “Yamanote”; owners: Sheikh Suhail Al Maktoum, Mrs Hamda Al Thani), a firm developing a Japanese bakery business in Dubai, U.A.E.

The GJFF is a private equity fund set up to promote export growth of Japan’s agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and the food security of the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (below: “GCC”), mainly in financial terms. The fund began investment operations on 3 March, 2016. Fund stakeholders on the Japanese side, apart from Mizuho Bank and Norinchukin Bank, also include the Cool Japan Fund, a public/private fund. Those on the Middle Eastern side include the Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), and sovereign wealth funds. Together, all these organizations have collectively invested USD 390 million.

Yamanote is a bakery chain established by Dubai’s Ruling Family, based on the concept of “Japanese Bakery”. It emphasizes high quality and food safety, and imports most of the ingredients from Japan. The firm plans to benefit from this time’s investment round by constructing central kitchen facilities and expanding its branch network mainly in the GCC countries.

By supporting Yamanote’s business expansion through investment, the GJFF intends to promote further export growth not only of Japan’s agricultural products like dairy goods, wheat, rice and azuki beans but also the country’s other food and agricultural products like confectionery goods and beverages.

Going forward, Mizuho Bank and Norinchukin Bank plan to continue contributing to the creation of added value and new markets in the agricultural and food business, via the GJFF.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

The Norinchukin Bank



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EQT Mid Market invests in a group which owns ILA Vietnam


EQT Mid Market invests in a group which owns ILA Vietnam

  • EQT Mid Market invests in a group which owns ILA Vietnam, a premium market leader in the English Language Training (“ELT”) sector in Vietnam
  • Strategy is to support continued growth and development of the company to stay ahead of its peers, through enhancements of the academic product offering, learning experience and environment, and network expansion, by leveraging on EQT’s experience and network globally

The EQT Mid Market investment strategy (“EQT Mid Market”) invests in a group which owns ILA Vietnam (“ILA” or the “Company”). An early pioneer in the premium ELT industry, ILA has a well-established reputation and a history that goes more than 20 years back. Today, ILA has over 20,000 ELT enrollments across Vietnam, and in addition offers overseas study consultancy, teacher training services and corporate English training.  ILA strives to be at the forefront in delivering high quality and up-to-date programs to its students across Vietnam.

Mr. Johan Bygge, Chairman of EQT Asia Pacific said: “We are excited to see EQT Mid Market join forces with a market leader in Vietnam’s ELT sector such as ILA. The vast EQT experience, insights and network in the education sector globally, will be of great support in taking ILA to the next level.”

“We are impressed by the Company’s premium curriculum offering and delivery methods, which have been key reasons for its long-term success. Going forward, there will be very interesting opportunities to grow the ILA offering to students all across Vietnam.” says Mr. Tak Wai Chung, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market.

Tak Wai Chung, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market +65 6595 1830
EQT Press Office +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a leading alternative investments firm with approximately EUR 37 billion in raised capital across 24 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.
More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About ILA Vietnam
ILA Vietnam is a leading premium ELT service provider in Vietnam. The Company offers premium English Language Training, overseas study consultancy, teacher training services and corporate English training.
More info: http://ilavietnam.edu.vn/

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