In the past twelve months, consulting firm Emerton has consolidated its position as a leading global strategic merger & acquisitions advisor to the infrastructure sector. From its offices in Paris, Dubai and New York, Emerton advised on 10 major infrastructure deals in Europe, the US and Africa.
The strategic consultancy completed both buy-side and sell-side mandates, with its deal portfolio spanning the infrastructure segments of waste management, energy & utilities, LNG infrastructures and fibre telecom. Four of its European transactions in the spotlight:
In December, SFR FTTH (the French fibre subsidiary of Altice) bought Covage, France’s fourth largest fibre wholesale operator. With a total cash consideration of €1 billion, the deal was the largest telecom deal in France in 2019 and one of the largest in its segment in Europe.
SFR FTTH was joined in the deal by a consortium of financial investors led by OMERS Infrastructure and including Allianz Capital Partners and AXA Investment Managers.
Emerton served as the strategic consultant to investment companies Cube Infrastructure Fund and Partners Group, which exited their stake. The firm’s consultants provided vendor due diligence services, working alongside lawyers from DLA Piper.
“We are extremely proud to integrate Covage, a great company, with a portfolio of areas in France complementary to ours,” said Patrick Drahi, founder of SFR FTTH parent Alticen.
In another sell-side mandate, Emerton served as the exclusive strategic advisor to Asterion and Mirova during their €720 million acquisition (deal value) of Proxiserve, a France-based provider of heat and water smart metering.
Emerton supported the private equity groups with strategic due diligence services, working alongside dealmakers from Big Four player KPMG Corporate Finance, law firm DLA Piper and boutique firm XK Corporate Finance.
At the annual IJInvestor Award, a competition that celebrates excellence in energy & utilities M&A, the acquisition of Proxiserve by the pair of investors was named Europe’s utility transaction of the year.
OCEA Smart Building
In June last year, three months after Proxiserve closed, OCEA Smart Building, another player in France’s smart metering market, announced it was acquired by Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), a London-based private equity group.
OCEA Smart Building has over 450 employees in France, operating from 27 different sites. The company, which has more than three million meters for smart water and heat metering installed, was owned by Paris-based investment company Infravia Capital Partners since December 2016, serving as a portfolio company of its European Infrastructure Fund III.
Emerton provided strategic due diligence support to the buyer, and in the process teamed up with merger & acquisition advisors from DC Advisory.
In a deal valued at an average enterprise value of €2.4 billion, EDF’s sale of its 65% stake in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Dunkirk, France, was one of the largest of its kind in Europe in 2019. French energy group EDF sold a 34% stake to an IPM Group-led consortium in partnership with Samsung Asset Management, IBK Securities and Hanwha Investment & Securities.
The remaining part (31%), combined with a 4% stake held by Total, was sold to a consortium made up of Belgian gas infrastructure company Fluxys, AXA Investment Managers, on behalf of clients, and Crédit Agricole Assurances. Fluxys already owned a 25% stake, and post deal the company holds a near 61% share.
Consultants from Emerton were hired by Fluxys for buy-side advisory on the terminal.