Sweden’s EQT sells €4bn credit unit to Bridgepoint

Swedish private equity firm EQT this week agreed to sell its €4 billion credit business to European buyout fund Bridgepoint.

“The acquisition will be combined with Bridgepoint’s existing credit business, with the enlarged group having total AuM of c.€7 billion,” said Bridgepoint.

Bridgepoint managing partner William Jackson said: “This moves our credit strategy and ambitions significantly forward and provides further diversification for the Bridgepoint Group.

“This is in line with our strategic objective of offering a broader range of compelling middle market focused alternative asset investment strategies.

“It will also broaden Bridgepoint Credit’s geographic exposure with an enhanced presence in the Nordic region, Germany and the US, adding to our existing teams in London and Paris.”

Advisers to Bridgepoint in the transaction included Rothschild & Co (M&A), PwC (financial & tax dd, structuring), Clifford Chance and Simpson Thacher (legal), Lockton (insurance).

EQT said: “Despite the difficult market environment, there was considerable interest in the business.

“The sale ensures that Credit gets a new owner able to support its growth prospects and permits EQT to further focus its efforts on building scalable value-add strategies focused on active ownership.

“Established in 2008, Credit is the smallest of EQT’s three business segments with approximately EUR 4 billion of assets under management as of 31 December 2019 in three complementary strategies: Special Situations, Direct Lending and Senior Debt.

“This represented around ten percent of EQT’s total AUM.

“The Credit business segment had total revenues of EUR 35.8 million and a gross segment result of EUR 12.3 million in the financial year ended 31 December 2019.”

Christian Sinding, CEO of EQT AB, said: “This is an important step on our path of focusing on investment strategies which can fully utilize EQT’s governance and impact ownership model.

“We are delighted to have found such a great new home for the Credit business segment and the dedicated team of credit specialists.”

JP Morgan acted as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis and Travers Smith as legal advisors to EQT on the transaction.