Vinci Park Finalises Its Purchase Of Empark For €900m

23 February 2015 – Cinco Días

The Vinci Park group is finalising its acquisition of the Hispanic Portuguese car park company Empark, in a transaction worth around €900 million. As a result of the purchase, Vinci Park will become the market leader in car park management, in Europe at least.

According to sources familiar with the transaction, Empark’s fragmented shareholder structure has made the negotiations, which began in the middle of last year, more difficult. “Loose ends still need to be tied up, a deal is not imminent”, they said. However, other sources indicated that “practically 95% of the transaction is closed”. Empark’s main shareholders are the Portuguese groups Assip Consultoria e Serviços (50.3%); Es Concessions International Holding (22.21%); and the Espirito Santo Infraestructure Fund (8.27%). The Spanish entity Ahorro Corporación owns more than 8% of the capital, in which other minority shareholders also hold a stake. Ferrovial sold its concessionary subsidiary Cintra (now Empark) to the Portuguese groups and Ahorro Corporación for €451 million in 2009.

According to Empark’s 2013 accounts, the latest ones available at the Commercial Registry, the company manages 500,763 parking spaces in total in: Spain (387,494); Portugal (68,679); UK (37,554); Turkey (5,861); Andorra (825); and Poland (350). The entity employs 2,527 people.

Empark began 2013 with long-term debt of €503 million and short term debt of €50.7 million. The company refinanced its debt in December 2013 through a bond issue amounting to €385 million, which is due to be repaid in December 2019. Empark used this new debt to repay the syndicated bank debt it held with Banco Espiritu Santo de Investimento as the agent bank, which amounted to €392.7 million, including interest.

In 2013, Empark recorded losses of €11.9 million (losses of €9.2 million in 2012) and revenues of €177.8 million (€180.9 million a year earlier).

French fortitude

Vinci Park manages 1.8 million parking spaces in 14 countries. Its parent company, the Vinci Group, which also operates concession and construction businesses, employs 191,000 people and has an annual turnover of almost €40,000 million.

The French investment giant Ardian, formerly Axa Private Equity, and Crédit Agricole Assurances, acquired Vinci Park last July, with each one taking a 37.5% stake in the car park company’s share capital, in a transaction worth around €1,960 million. Vinci Concessions retained a 25% stake.

The Vinci Group recorded profits of €2,486 million in 2014, after its results were boosted by the sale of the majority of its car park business, according to reports by the French multinational on 6 February.

Last year, the company Ardian closed an investment fund amounting to €10,000 million. The entity is the primary shareholder of CLH in Spain with a 15% stake. In 2014, it acquired 65% of Túnels Barcelona Cadi’s share capital, which operates the Vallvidrera and Cadí Tunnels, from the Brazilian bank BTG Pactual for €146 million; Abertis, which partners Ardian in other projects in Spain and France, controls the remaining 35% of Cadí’s capital.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alberto Ortín Ramón)

Translation: Carmel Drake