23 April 2015 – Expansión
Exclusivity / The group controlled by Ardian will purchase the parking space market leader, which has debt of €500 million.
Yesterday, the French company Vinci Park (controlled by the fund Ardian, together with Credit Agricole and Vinci) announced that it had begun exclusive negotiations with the shareholders of Empark regarding the “potential purchase” of the market leading parking space company in Spain and Portugal, which is controlled by Portuguese shareholders. “We are still negotiating to arrive at a final agreement” say sources at Vinci Park. The company is committed to maintaining an investment grade rating.
A few days ago, Empark’s shareholders said that an agreement with Vinci was imminent for the sale of a controlling stake.
Other investors have expressed interest in Empark, valued at around €900 million (including debt of €500 million), including the Spanish businessman Eugenio Hinojosa who, with the support of several financial institutions, including Santander, designed a purchase offer to compete against the bid made by the French group. Empark will have to explain the transaction to its bondholders in London.
Assips is Empark’s controlling shareholder, with a 50.3% stake – the vehicle is controlled by the Portuguese firm A. Silva & Silva, which is in turn controlled by the founding families of the company who participate in the management of the group.
The top executives at Empark, which manages 500,000 parking spaces in Spain, Portugal, UK and Turkey, are José Augusto Tavares (Chairman), Pedro Mendes (CEO) and Antonio Moura.
The remaining capital is divided amongst several investment funds managed by BES (22%) and Ahorro Corporación (8.2%). The Mello family holds a 2.6% stake. These shareholders will also sell (their stakes) to Vinci Park.
The controlling shareholders commissioned JPMorgan and Caixa Banco de Investimento (CBI) to search for a buyer in 2014. One of the reasons for exiting the company (which they acquired from Ferrovial in 2008) has been the financial troubles of the Portuguese shareholders, which have been going through a complicated bankruptcy process and have had to deal with debt maturities in recent months.
Empark recorded sales of €180 million in 2013 and a gross operating profit (EBITDA) of €63.3 million. During the first three months of 2014, Empark recorded turnover of €42.8 million, down 0.6% (on the previous year) and a gross profit of €15.3 million, in line with 2013. Vinci Park, which has operated in Spain since 1994, manages 39 car parks in various cities across the country. The company also has a presence in a further thirteen countries and generates total revenues of €704 million.
The sale of Empark coincides with the decision by KKR, Torreal and ProA to sell 49% of Saba.
Original story: Expansión (by C.Morán and D.Badía)
Translation: Carmel Drake