Lithuanian infra fund makes first car parking buy

The vehicle, managed by Lords LB, is targeting growth through more PPP programmes across Central Europe.

An infrastructure fund managed by Lithuanian investment firm Lords LB has bought Central European parking firm City Parking Group.

The company, acquired from CEE-focused private equity fund Royalton Capital Investors II, manages more than 165,000 on-street and off-street parking spaces across Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The investment was made through Lords LB’s Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund.

Headquartered in Poland, City Parking Group is ranked as the second largest operator in the country, ahead of Ardian’s Indigo and CPPIB’s Interparking, according to management firm Admin Park.

Lords LB declined to comment on the purchase price. City Parking Group’s EBITDA last year amounted to 15 million zloty ($4.1 million; €3.5 million). The recent parking deals in Europe for Q-Park and NCP saw acquisition prices valued at 15 times and 13.8 times EBITDA respectively.

Jonas Kimontas, manager of the Lords LB fund, said the company will become more involved in public-private partnerships and it will develop solutions to satisfy what it says is a growing demand for parking spaces.

“We are investing in a company with strong potential that has a social, technological and environmental edge over competitors and has been steadily growing for the last five years,” he said. “We are looking forward to increasing its growth by expanding business and further consolidating market in the region.”

The Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund was launched last year seeking commitments of €75 million and “above benchmark returns”. Targeting smaller and mid-sized assets, it differs from Lords LB’s Energy and Infrastructure Baltic Fund, a vehicle seeking a hard-cap of €250 million and returns of 12 percent.

The latter was hailed in January 2016 as the region’s first institutional infrastructure fund. It was joined six months later by its SME counterpart and last month private equity firm BaltCap launched the BaltCap Infrastructure Fund, a €100 million vehicle supported by the EIB and a group of Swedish and Estonian pension funds.

To find out more about the increasing demand for parking assets, read our feature here with insights from recent investors.