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Investcorp set for bumper return from Apcoa

Investcorp looks to bounce back from Polestar setback with a strong return from German car park operator Apcoa.

Investcorp is set to realise a substantial return on its investment in Apcoa, a German car parking company, after the business attracted several first round bids of more than €700 million ($908 million).

A strong return would be welcome news for Investcorp, which recently suffered a setback when Polestar, a magazine printer in its portfolio, ran into financial difficulties. Investcorp had to write off its equity when Polestar was forced to agree a debt restructuring, as it looked to fend off administration.

UBS has been appointed to run the sale of Apcoa, which manages airport and city-centre car parks in ten European countries, plus traffic warden operations in a number of major cities. At least half a dozen bidders have made it through to the second round of bidding, banking sources said, all of whom have submitted offers in excess of €700 million for the company.

Investcorp bought Apcoa for €265 million from German energy group EnBW in 2004, and is now set to realise a hefty profit.

French buyout group Eurazeo is believed to be one of the bidders, according to an industry source. The firm’s portfolio includes Europcar, the car rental business that makes 35 percent of its revenues from airport hires.

Other private equity and trade buyers are also thought to be involved. Q-Park, a Dutch parking company that bought Scandinavian-based CarPark from buyout firm Bridgepoint Capital last year, is an obvious candidate. Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie is reportedly also interested.