EQT, GS offer €3bn for ISS

EQT and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners have made a €3bn cash bid for Danish facility services company ISS.

Fresh from being part of the consortium that completed the largest private equity transaction in 16 years yesterday, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners (GSCP) has teamed up with Nordic buyout firm EQT to make an offer for Danish facility company ISS.

The consortium has offered DKK470 a share in a cash bid that values the company at DKK22.1 billion (€3 billion; $3.8 billion), a premium of 31 percent on ISS’ closing price on its last day of trading.

Under the terms of the offer, which expires on May 3, EQT would own 55 percent of the company and GSCP would hold 45 percent of ISS. The consortium said that shareholder Franklin Templeton had already agreed to sell its 9.1 percent stake in the company.

Denmark’s largest pension fund ATP also holds a 9 percent stake in the company. According to a report from Bloomberg, Claus Wiinblad, head of equities at the firm, said that ATP would wait for the board’s recommendation before making a decision.

ISS is one of the world’s largest service companies with approximately 275,000 employees in 41 countries and has sales of approximately DKK 36 billion. The company supplies services in the form of cleaning, catering, office support and property services.

GSCP was a member of the seven-strong consortium that announced the acquisition yesterday of US financial-services software company SunGard Data Systems for $11.3 billion (€8.8 billion).

Along with Silver Lake Partners, Bain Capital, The Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Providence Equity Partners and Texas Pacific Group, the firm took part in the largest leveraged buyout since the $31.3 billion buyout of RJR Nabisco in 1989 by KKR.

EQT is currently investing from its €2.5 billion buyout fund that closed last year. According to market sources, GSCP is in the process of raising a new buyout fund that could be as large as $8.5 billion.