EQT Mid Market sells IP-Only to EQT Infrastructure

eqt

  • EQT Mid Market sells IP-Only, a Swedish high-growth fiber infrastructure provider, to EQT Infrastructure
  • During EQT Mid Market’s ownership, IP-Only has accelerated the transformation of the communication infrastructure landscape in Sweden and increased the fiber deployment pace to support the Swedish Government’s 2025 broadband targets
  • IP-Only has installed fiber connections to more than 200,000 households across Sweden, tripled the employee base and increased revenues and EBITDA by more than four and five times respectively

The EQT Mid Market and EQT Mid Market Europe funds (together “EQT Mid Market”) have agreed to sell IP-Only (or “the Company”), a Swedish high-growth fiber infrastructure provider for data communications, to the EQT Infrastructure IV fund (or “EQT Infrastructure”). The enterprise value amounts to SEK 18,250 million (EUR 1,7 billion) plus an earn-out of up to SEK 1,000 million (EUR 94 million). The transaction was signed following a competitive auction process with both industry and financial buyers.

EQT Mid Market acquired IP-Only in 2013 when the Company was a focused wholesale and enterprises data communications supplier. Today, IP-Only is a leading provider of mission critical fiber infrastructure, serving both the B2B and B2C segments with a high-capacity, nationwide network and connectivity to the other Nordic countries. From 2013 to 2018, the Company’s revenues increased with a yearly average of 34 percent, from SEK 452 million (EUR 42 million) to SEK 1,940 million (EUR 182 million) and adjusted EBITDA with a yearly average of 39 percent, increased from SEK 180 million (EUR 17 million) to SEK 930 million (EUR 87 million).

During EQT Mid Market’s ownership period, IP-Only has invested some SEK 9 billion (EUR 845 million) to expand its network and execute an ambitious consolidation strategy, including 15 private add-on acquisitions and two buy-outs from Stockholm Stock Exchange. In 2014, IP-Only launched a Fiber-to-the-home (“FTTH”) offering to meet the increasing demand for high-speed internet for households in Sweden. The Company has consequently played an important role in building the digital infrastructure for a connected society able to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Today, IP-Only is the second largest fiber infrastructure provider in the Swedish FTTH market and the operator with most focus on the rural parts of Sweden.

Frida Westerberg, CEO of IP-Only, commented: “Together with EQT Mid Market, IP-Only has transformed from a local enterprise data communications provider, to a pan-Nordic, B2B and B2C provider of mission critical fiber infrastructure. IP-Only has taken a leading role to contribute to the Swedish Government’s broadband targets, meaning that 98 percent of the Swedish population will have broadband access by the end of 2025. We remain committed to execute on this mission and we now look forward to continuing our growth journey with EQT Infrastructure, leveraging on its deep industry knowledge and solid track-record from developing strong fiber assets.”

Johan Dettel, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, commented: “EQT Mid Market is proud of IP-Only’s development journey over the past six years, as they have transformed the fixed telecom infrastructure landscape in Sweden. We are impressed with what has been achieved under the leadership of Frida Westerberg and her team and IP-Only is now well-positioned to take the development to the next level. The Company plays a critical role in the digitalization of Sweden, also including its more rural parts, which is a prerequisite to enable digital inclusion, social progress and sustainable economic growth. IP-Only is an impactful company and defines what private equity is all about by combining investments and risks with significant contribution to the development of society.”

The transaction is expected to close in June 2019.

J.P. Morgan and SEB acted as financial advisors and White & Case as legal advisor to EQT Mid Market.

Contact
Johan Dettel, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, +46 8 506 55 350
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About IP-Only
IP-Only is a leading independent provider of fiber-based data communication and datacenter services in Sweden. IP-Only owns and operates a high-capacity fiber network linking the Nordic capitals as well as Sweden’s second and third largest cities Gothenburg and Malmo.

More info: www.ip-only.se

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Nordstjernan divests its holding in Salcomp

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Nordstjernan

Nordstjernan has entered an agreement to divest its holding in Salcomp, a world-leading manufacturer of chargers for mobile phones and other electronic products for the smart and connected world, to Lingyi iTech. Lingyi is a listed Chinese component manufacturer with sales of more than USD 3 billion in 2018.

Salcomp, founded in 1975, reported sales of EUR 531 million in 2018. Its customers comprise all major manufacturers of mobile phones and the company has production facilities in China, India and Brazil. Nordstjernan has been owner of Salcomp since 2007 and currently owns 55 percent of the capital and votes. The transaction is being conducted jointly with the Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund (AP6), which has owned 45 percent of the capital and votes in Salcomp.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities in China and Taiwan.

“Nordstjernan has been a long-term owner of Salcomp, a world-leading company in a highly competitive global market. We have now found what we consider to be the right industrial home for Salcomp. The merger will provide the company with greater possibilities to offer its customers a broader product portfolio. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to the management and all the employees at Salcomp for our time together,” says Peter Hofvenstam, President and CEO of Nordstjernan.

Peter Hofvenstam
President and CEO
Nordstjernan AB

Questions will be answered by:

Peter Hofvenstam, CEO Nordstjernan
E-mail: peter.hofvenstam@nordstjernan.se

Stefan Stern, Head of Communications Nordstjernan
Telephone: +46 70 636 74 17
E-mail: stefan.stern@nordstjernan.se

Nordstjernan is a family-controlled investment company whose business concept is to be an active owner that creates long-term and positive value growth. More information about Nordstjernan can be found on www.nordstjernan.se.


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EQT acquires the leading Maltese telecom operator Melita

eqt

  • EQT Infrastructure acquires Melita from Apax Partners and Fortino Capital
  • Melita owns state of the art converged fixed and mobile telecom infrastructure and is the market leading operator on Malta
  • EQT Infrastructure to support growth of Melita by investing in its network and is committed to continue to provide high quality services to current and future customer

EQT Infrastructure IV (“EQT” or “EQT Infrastructure”), has signed an agreement to acquire Melita Limited (“Melita” or the “Company”) from Apax Partners and Fortino Capital

Founded in 1991, Melita is a fully converged and diversified telecommunication infrastructure owner as well as a leading services provider in Malta. Melita services consumers, business and government customers on Malta with mainly four types of products: nationwide Gigabit broadband services for households and small businesses, mobile and fixed telephony as well as TV services. Melita also offers colocation services and operates a purpose-built data centre. Melita will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Harald Rösch, a longstanding Industrial Advisor to EQT.

EQT Infrastructure intends to support Melita’s growth by further upgrading its fixed and mobile networks and opening an additional data centre location on Malta. It will also support Melita’s internationalization strategy including its expansion in Italy as well as its innovative IoT connectivity proposition.

Ulrich Köllensperger, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure IV, comments: “EQT has been built on a passion for developing companies. We invest in good companies across the globe with the aim of turning them not only into great companies but also sustainable ones. This is exactly the formula we aim to apply to Melita, which is already an innovator in the Maltese market and beyond in terms of infrastructure, products and customer service. As a result, we are confident that the coming months and years will be exciting and rewarding both for Melita’s employees and for its customers.”

Harald Rösch, CEO of Melita, said: “This transaction is another proof of our success over the last years, built on the hard work from all employees and support from our owners. Thanks to our customers’ continued loyalty and increased trust we have positioned Melita as a telecom market leader in Malta in terms of innovation, technology and customer satisfaction. With the backing of EQT Infrastructure and their extensive experience in our industry, we will continue the journey by developing our networks and providing outstanding customer experience in the years to come. Melita is ideally positioned to grow in the Maltese telecom market and beyond.”

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. The proposed transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Clifford Chance and Ganado Advocates acted as legal advisors to EQT Infrastructure.

Contacts
Ulrich Köllensperger, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, +41 44 266 68 08
EQT Press office, +46 8 506 55 334
Malta: Conway Wigg, BPC Communications, +356 2124 321, info@bpc.com.mt

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management. 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 Melita
Founded in 1991, Melita is the market leading operator and owner of future-proof and converged fixed and mobile telecom infrastructure on Malta, offering mobile, fixed telephony, broadband and TV services to consumers, businesses and government clients. Melita also offers colocation services and operates a purpose-built data center.

More info: www.melita.com 

About Apax
Apax Partners is a leading European private equity firm based in Paris. With more than 45 years of experience, Apax Partners provides long-term equity funding to build and strengthen world-class companies. Funds managed and advised by Apax Partners exceed €3.3 billion. These funds invest in fast-growing middle-market companies across four sectors of specialisation: TMT, Consumer, Healthcare and Services.Paris-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.fr) and London-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.com) have a shared history but are separate, independent firms

More info: www.apax.fr

About Fortino Capital Partners
Fortino Capital Partners is an investment company that was founded in 2013 and is led by Duco Sickinghe, Renaat Berckmoes and Matthias Vandepitte. Fortino Capital invests in remarkable companies of today and tomorrow and actively helps companies to capture opportunities. They accelerate businesses and turn ambition into growth. The company manages a venture capital fund of EUR 80 million and a digital growth fund of EUR 200 million, which focuses on software and digital transformation. Fortino Capital’s investment portfolio includes Teamleader, Bloomon, Aproplan and MobileXpense, among others.

More info: www.fortino.be

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EQT Infrastructure acquires Melita

Fortino Capital

May 2019. EQT Infrastructure IV (“EQT” or “EQT Infrastructure”), has signed an agreement to acquire Melita Limited (“Melita” or the “Company”) from Apax Partners and Fortino Capital. 

Founded in 1991, Melita is a fully converged and diversified telecommunication infrastructure owner as well as a leading services provider in Malta. Melita services consumers, business and government customers on Malta with mainly four types of products: nationwide Gigabit broadband services for households and small businesses, mobile and fixed telephony as well as TV services. Melita also offers colocation services and operates a purpose-built data centre. Melita will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Harald Rösch, a longstanding Industrial Advisor to EQT.

EQT Infrastructure intends to support Melita’s growth by further upgrading its fixed and mobile networks and opening an additional data centre location on Malta. It will also support Melita’s internationalization strategy including its expansion in Italy as well as its innovative IoT connectivity proposition.

Ulrich Köllensperger, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure IV, comments: “EQT has been built on a passion for developing companies. We invest in good companies across the globe with the aim of turning them not only into great companies but also sustainable ones. This is exactly the formula we aim to apply to Melita, which is already an innovator in the Maltese market and beyond in terms of infrastructure, products and customer service. As a result, we are confident that the coming months and years will be exciting and rewarding both for Melita’s employees and for its customers.”

Harald Rösch, CEO of Melita, said: “ This transaction is another proof of our success over the last years, built on the hard work from all employees and support from our owners. Thanks to our customers’ continued loyalty and increased trust we have positioned Melita as a telecom market leader in Malta in terms of innovation, technology and customer satisfaction.  With the backing of EQT Infrastructure and their extensive experience in our industry, we will continue the journey by developing our networks and providing outstanding customer experience in the years to come. Melita is ideally positioned to grow in the Maltese telecom market and beyond.”

Thomas de Villeneuve, partner at Apax Partners, said: “We are very proud of the journey achieved by Melita over those last 3 years. Under the leadership of Harald, Melita has heavily invested in its network, its digitial transformation to become a world class operator. We congratulate Harald and the whole Melita team for the amazing work they have achieved that also benefits to the whole Maltese community”.

Duco Sickinghe, Managing Partner at Fortino Capital Partners, comments: “We have enjoyed working with Apax Partners and Melita’s dedicated management team to build a leading telecom service provider in Malta. A company that every day again tries to serve its customers in the best possible way by using the latest available technologies.”

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. The proposed transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Read the press release by Melita here: https://www.melita.com/eqt-acquires-melita/

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MOBILEXPENSE strengthens international footprint by acquiring the Swedish market leader in travel expense management

Fortino Capital

MobileXpense, the Brussels-based company that provides worldwide mobile solutions for travel expense management, is making its first strategic acquisition in taking over eBuilder Travel, the travel and expense management market leader in Sweden. This further strengthens MobileXpense’s position as a key international software supplier. In 2017, Fortino Capital Partners invested 20 million euros in the company’s commercial growth and the development of new mobile services.

Pieter Geeraerts, CEO, clarifies MobileXpense’s ambition: “MobileXpense has shown substantial and consistent growth in recent years. This acquisition allows us to further heighten our position in the international market where we have become a leading European player able to challenge the world’s largest software suppliers. We want to maintain this pioneering position and develop solutions that are able to follow the most complex processes of large multinational corporate and governmental organizations.”

MobileXpense was founded in 2000 as one of the first European Software-as-a-Service (Saas) companies. It specializes in software applications for travel and expense management and offers complete automation of the entire process from planning and booking, to reimbursement and accounting. MobileXpense has become a front-row service provider for multinationals in Europe, the UK, the US, Latin America and China.

This success is due to the solution’s user-friendliness, flexible integration with existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and payroll solutions, and particularly its compliance with local tax regulations and procedures in more than 70 countries. MobileXpense currently has 1.2 million users worldwide, spread over 100+ countries and almost 300 corporate customers including blue-chip companies such as Canon, UCB, DB Schenker or Panalpina but also the Belgian National Bank and the Dutch government.

In 2018, Pieter Geeraerts joined MobileXpense as its new CEO, bringing along his strong track record in growing software companies. Today, MobileXpense reaches another important milestone with the acquisition of eBuilder Travel, a strong player in travel and expense management in the Nordics. With this acquisition, MobileXpense obtains a solid set of large customers in Sweden and Finland backed by a strong team of local experts and aims to further expand its activities in the Nordics and strengthen its international offering.

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BC Partners Completes Acquisition of United Group, South Eastern Europe’s Leading Cable, Telecoms and Media Group

 

 

One of the largest single foreign direct investments in South Eastern Europe

London and Amsterdam, 04 March 2019 – BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, today announced the completion of the acquisition of majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. KKR and United Group’s management team will retain a substantial minority stake.

Founded in Serbia, and headquartered in Amsterdam, United Group is the leading independent media and communication services provider across South East Europe. Through significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and proprietary technology, it provides market-leading services to its customers across the region. Over the past 18 years the Group has expanded its presence through both organic growth and acquisitions, now employing over 4,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8 million homes.

Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to have completed this transaction with United Group’s management team and KKR, and look forward to supporting the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and a growing base of loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position provide an excellent platform for further organic growth and strategic acquisitions across Europe.”

Since its investment in 2014, KKR has supported United Group’s efforts to build the company into the leading provider of communications and media services in South Eastern Europe. United Group’s fibre and cable networks have the largest presence in the region, covering 1.8 million homes which benefit from broadband speeds over 2.4x higher than local peers and high quality local and international content.

Jean-Pierre Saad, Managing Director at KKR said: “We are proud of the many achievements of United Group over the last five years. It is a great example of a truly convergent operator across communications and media with market leading product innovation and services. We will remain closely committed to the further development of United Group and are looking forward to working with BC Partners and the management team to further strengthen the company’s growth.”

Morgan Stanley and LionTree acted as advisers to BC Partners while Credit Suisse advised United Group.

Media contact:
BC Partners – Prosek Partners
Pro-BCPartners@prosek.com
+44 (0)20 8323 0475

KKR
Alastair Elwen
Finsbury
alastair.elwen@finsbury.com
+44 (0)20 7251 3801

About BC Partners

BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over €20 billion of assets under management in private equity and private credit. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for three decades. Today, BC Partners executives operate across markets as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in North America and Europe.
Since inception, BC Partners has completed 105 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €130 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.

About KKR 

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About United Group

Founded in 2000, United Group is the leading multi-play telecoms and media provider in South East Europe, providing customers with a full range of telecommunications services. It has the broadest network coverage in the region and offers customers an unrivalled selection of content, from local offerings to the best selection from across the globe. United Group operates in six countries (through brands such as SBB, Telemach, and United Media, and channels such as SportKlub, Nova TV and N1TV) plus a global OTT service, reaching 3.74 million subscribers in 1.8 million homes, employing 4,400 people.

United Group’s international investors include KKR and now BC Partners as the majority investor.

www.united.group/about/

KKR

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Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications rebrand as SEGRA

eqt

EQT portfolio company Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications today announced the completion of their rebranding as SEGRASM. The name, derived from an ancient word meaning “to win,” represents Segra’s focus on providing innovative, industry-leading solutions and services. 

EQT Infrastructure III acquired Lumos Networks (“Lumos”) in 2017 with an objective to grow the company’s fiber business both organically and inorganically, and to capitalize on attractive market trends. The later purchase of a majority stake in Spirit Communications (“Spirit”) and subsequent combination of the two companies marked an important step in this ambition. Today, the combined company launched its new brand: Segra.

“Spirit and Lumos were a natural fit given their shared focus on providing innovative, industry-leading fiber-based solutions and services, and we couldn’t be more excited about the outcome. The rebranding to Segra represents the successful combination of the two companies and the creation of one of the largest independent fiber bandwidth companies in the US,” said Jan Vesely, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure. “EQT looks forward to continuing to support Segra as it continues to grow, innovate and better serve its customers’ needs.”

Read Segra’s rebranding press release here.

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Altice and KKR Announce the Creation of Hivory

KKR

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 18, 2018– Altice Europe and KKR, a leading global investment firm, today jointly announce the creation of Hivory, the largest independent telecoms tower company in Franceand third largest European tower company. The creation of Hivory follows the successful completion of the transaction announced in June, of KKR’s acquisition of a 49.99% stake in a portfolio of more than 10,000 of Altice’s French towers.

Hivory is a high-quality telecoms infrastructure provider with a nationwide presence, benefiting from more than 10,000 strategically located sites with a diversified portfolio of ground-based towers and rooftops. The company is focused on serving the growing infrastructure needs for mobile operators to provide connectivity to all parts of the French population, meeting continued strong demand for data consumption and increased coverage.

Through Hivory, Altice and KKR will proactively seek to partner with all mobile operators to develop their coverage and densification objectives in France, through the build-to-suit of new towers and facilitating colocation needs in the French mobile market.

The company will seek to contribute to the development of French technology infrastructure and innovation, supporting telecom players on the eve of the ‘New Deal’ for French mobile and 5G roll out.

Alain Weill, CEO of Altice Europe, and Vincent Policard, Member at KKR in the European Infrastructure team, jointly said: “Altice and KKR are excited about the prospects for Hivory in improving mobile connectivity in France and building the telecommunications infrastructure critical for modern society. Hivory will benefit from strong market tailwinds, as well as the sector expertise and operational resources which Altice and KKR will provide through our partnership.”

-ends-

About Altice Europe

Altice Europe (ATC & ATCB), listed on Euronext Amsterdam, is a convergent leader in telecoms, content, media, entertainment and advertising. Altice delivers innovative, customer-centric products and solutions that connect and unlock the limitless potential of its over 30 million customers over fiber networks and mobile broadband. Altice is also a provider of enterprise digital solutions to millions of business customers. The company innovates with technology, research and development and enables people to live out their passions by providing original content, high-quality and compelling TV shows, and international, national and local news channels. Altice delivers live broadcast premium sports events and enables its customers to enjoy the most well-known media and entertainment.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business.

References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Source: KKR

Media Contacts
For Altice:
Arthur Dreyfuss
Head of Communications, Altice Europe
Phone: +41 79 946 4931
Email: arthur.dreyfuss@altice.net

For KKR:
Alastair Elwen Finsbury
Phone: +44(0)20 7251 3801
Email: alastair.elwen@finsbury.com

Olivier Blain
Adding Value Conseils
Email: ob@addingvalueconseils.com
Phone: +33 6 72 28 29 20

 

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KKR and Tencent Lead Investment in the Philippines’ Voyager Innovations

KKR

Investment in the Philippines’ Leading Technology Company Supports Greater Financial Inclusion and Access to Mobile Internet for Filipinos

MANILA, Philippines–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 4, 2018– PLDT Inc. (NYSE: PHI|PSE: TEL), the leading telecommunications and digital services provider in the Philippines, global investment firm KKR (NYSE: KKR), and Tencent Holdings Ltd.(0700.HK), a leading provider of internet services in China, announced today the signing of agreements under which investors led by KKR and Tencent will separately subscribe to a total of up to US$175 million worth of newly-issued shares in Voyager Innovations, giving them a substantial minority stake in the Philippines’ leading digital technology company.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181004005328/en/

Upon the closing of the transaction, which is expected within the fourth quarter of 2018, PLDT will remain as the majority shareholder of Voyager Innovations. The agreements also contain provisions for Voyager Innovations to issue additional shares to other investors which, if this were to occur, would reduce PLDT’s ownership to less than 50% while still remaining as the largest shareholder.

The new external funding in Voyager Innovations marks the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company. With the global expertise and fresh capital from the new investors, Voyager Innovations will enable greater access to mobile payments and the internet as a whole for the country’s population.

Voyager Innovations’ mission is to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines and enable the broader Filipino population to participate in the digital economy. The company’s award-winning technology platforms support the following digital services:

  • PayMaya, the most recognized prepaid payment wallet service in the Philippines, enabling Filipinos to shop online, pay bills, buy airtime load, and send money;
  • PayMaya Business, the largest mobile acquiring service in the Philippines, enabling enterprises of all sizes to accept digital payments;
  • Smart Padala, the largest mobile-based remittance network in the Philippines;
  • Lendr, the largest digital lending platform in the Philippines; and,
  • freenet, the most popular rewards app for free access to the internet and apps in the Philippines.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, President and CEO of PLDT, said: “Having global powerhouses such as KKR and Tencentas investors in Voyager Innovations demonstrates not only their confidence in the company’s ability to execute its vision, but also their confidence in the Philippine technology industry as a whole.”

Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO of Voyager Innovations, said: “This is a watershed moment not only for Voyager Innovations but also for the Philippines. With this investment by KKR and Tencent, we will trigger an inflection point in digital adoption and financial inclusion in the country.”

Terence Lee, Director on KKR’s Southeast Asia team, said: “We are excited about Voyager Innovations and to further invest behind online payments leaders in emerging markets. Voyager Innovations provides critical digital and financial services to millions of Filipinos looking to join the digital economy for work and play. We look forward to leveraging our industry expertise and resources to help enhance the company’s mission of financial inclusion and accelerate its growth at a time when the digital economy is more important than ever.”

KKR’s investment in Voyager Innovations is being funded from KKR Asian Fund III. The investment is KKR’s first private equity investment in the Philippines and is part of the firm’s strategy to invest in high-growth markets that the firm believes can benefit from a rapid increase in technology adoption. Other investments KKR has made in the technology and fintech sectors include Go-Jek (Indonesia’s leading on-demand mobile platform for ride hailing, food delivery, and mobile payments), Suishou Technology (one of China’s largest personal finance management platforms) and First Data (global payment technology and services solutions provider with a presence in 118 countries).

James Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer of Tencent, said: “Voyager Innovations connects the growing smartphone population in the Philippines to online payments and financial services. Tencent is glad to support Voyager Innovations and to advance financial inclusion.”

The foregoing investment in Voyager Innovations is not subject to the compulsory merger notification regime under the Philippine Competition Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. In addition, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippines’ central bank, confirmed that it interposes no objection to the investment.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor to Voyager Innovations. Latham & Watkins and Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos are acting as legal counsel to PLDT and Voyager Innovations. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Sycip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan are acting as legal counsel to KKR and Tencent.

ABOUT PLDT

PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider in the Philippines. Through its principal business groups–fixed line and wireless–PLDT offers a wide range of telecommunications services across the Philippines’ most extensive fiber optic backbone and fixed line, and mobile network. PLDT is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE: TEL) and its American Depositary Shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:PHI). PLDT has one of the largest market capitalizations among Philippine listed companies. Further information can be obtained by visiting the web at www.pldt.com.

ABOUT VOYAGER INNOVATIONS

Voyager Innovations is the leading technology company in the Philippines focused on developing customer-centric emerging market platforms in the areas of digital payments, digital finance, and marketing technologies. For more information, visit www.voyagerinnovation.com.

ABOUT KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic manager partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

ABOUT TENCENT

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Our social products WeChat and QQ link our users to a rich digital content catalogue including games, video, music and books. Our proprietary targeting technology helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our infrastructure services including payment, security, cloud and artificial intelligence create differentiated offerings and support our partners’ business growth. Tencent invests heavily in people and innovation, enabling us to evolve with the Internet.

Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (0700.HK) are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Source: KKR

INVESTORS:
PLDT
Anabelle L. Chua
alchua@pldt.com.ph
Melissa V. Vergel de Dios
mvvergeldedios@pldt.com.ph
Voyager Innovations
Duane Williams
investor@voyagerinnovation.com
KKR
Craig Larson
investor-relations@kkr.com
TENCENT
Jane Yip
janeyip@tencent.com
PH Cheung
phcheung@tencent.com
MEDIA:
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BC Partners to Acquire United Group, the Leading Cable and Media Operator in South Eastern Europe

KKR

Investment further strengthens ambition of United Group as the regional leader in communication and media

KKR maintaining substantial minority stake

LONDON & AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 27, 2018– Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading international investment firm, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement whereby BC Partners will acquire majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, a leading global investment firm. KKR will retain a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

United Group is the leading media and communication services provider across South East Europe. Through significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and proprietary technology, it provides market-leading services to its customers across the region. Over the past 18 years the Group has expanded its presence through both organic growth and acquisitions, now employing over 3,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8m homes.

Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to partner with United Group’s management team and KKR to support the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position it well for further organic and acquisitive growth.”

Since its investment in 2014, KKR has supported United Group to build the company into the leading provider of communications and media services in South Eastern Europe. United Group’s fibre and cable networks have the largest presence in the region, covering 1.82m homes which benefit from broadband speeds over 2.6x higher than local peers and high quality local and international content.

Jean-Pierre Saad, Managing Director at KKR said: “We are proud of the way in which United Group has developed over the last five years. It is a great example of a truly convergent operator across communications and media with market leading product innovation and services. We will remain closely committed to the further development of United Group and are looking forward to working with BC Partners and the management team to further strengthen the company’s growth.”

Morgan Stanley and LionTree are acting as advisers to BC Partners while Credit-Suisse is advising United Group.

-ENDS-

About BC Partners

BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over EUR18 billion of assets under management in private equity and private credit. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for three decades. Today, BC Partners executives operate across markets as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in North America and Europe.

Since inception, BC Partners Private Equity has completed 104 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €129 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. On the Private Credit front BC Partners Credit is currently investing Special Opportunities Fund I. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic manager partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Source: KKR

Media Contacts
For BC Partners
Henrietta Dehn / Jonathan Hodgkinson
Prosek Partners
Phone: +44(0)20 3878 8566
Email: pro-bcpartners@prosek.com
or
For KKR
Alastair Elwen
Finsbury
Phone: +44(0)20 7251 3801
Email: alastair.elwen@finsbury.com

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