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Apax refinances French parking operator

The Paris office of the global private equity firm has carried out the second recapitalisation of Parkeon Group.

Apax Partners has carried out a €140 million ($169 million) refinancing of Parkeon Group, a French provider of parking and transport ticketing solutions.
 
Allied Irish Bank has arranged and underwritten a combination of senior bank debt, mezzanine debt and stand-by credit facilities to finance working capital requirements and future acquisitions.
 
The refinancing is part of a five-year growth plan that Parkeon embarked upon at the end of 2005. The plan is aimed at growing the company’s revenues from €130 million in 2005 to €200 million by the year 2010.
 
Apax Partners Paris’ office acquired e-City, the former parking solutions division of global technology services company Schlumberger, for an undisclosed sum in October 2003 and renamed the business Parkeon.
 
Apax carried out an initial refinancing of Parkeon in November 2004, with BNP Paribas providing €60 million of debt facilities.
 
Bertrand Pivin, partner at Apax Partners France, told PEO that Parkeon had been acquired through Apax Partners France VI, the firm’s vintage 2000 €700 million buyout fund. He declined to comment on the original purchase price for Parkeon or the amount of equity Apax now holds in the company.
 
Pivin said that Parkeon had seen its EBIT multiply by 2.5x since being acquired by Apax. “The company has grown and increased profitability in the last two years and the objective of the second recapitalisation is to structure the balance sheet so that it can provide the company with a means to continue and accelerate growth as well as going after the US market,” he said. “We are also benefiting from attractive market conditions in terms of replacing equity with cheap debt.”
 
Established in 1970 (as e-City) and headquartered in Paris, Parkeon has operations in Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the UK. The company employs over 850 people and has an installed base of 140,000 machines in 3,000 cities.