Macquarie offloads NCP in £450m deal

Park24 and Development Bank of Japan to acquire NCP, which fund bought for £790m 10 years ago.

The Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II has agreed the sale of UK-based National Car Parks to a joint venture between Japanese parking operator Park24 and the Development Bank of Japan.

Park24 said it paid 51 percent of the equity for the deal, amounting to £158.95 million ($206.7 million; €180.4 million), with DBJ stumping up the other 49 percent – the total paid by the Japanese duo amounting to £312 million. Infrastructure Investor understands the transaction has an enterprise value of £450 million.

Macquarie declined to comment.

The sale comes amid a winding down of MEIF2 as the €4.6 billion vehicle nears the end of its life. Macquarie bought NCP in March 2007 from 3i for £790 million, despite the latter having owned the company for less than two years after spending £555 million to purchase NCP in September 2005. 3i had not responded to requests for comment by the time of going to press.

NCP has since undergone two refinancings, the latest of which came in December 2016. It first restructured its debt in April 2012 after economic conditions escalating property costs contributed to a deteriorating profitability for NCP. Senior debt due for repayment in March 2014 was reduced to £140 million and extended to March 2018, with MEIF2 having to provide a further £50 million in equity.

Last year’s refinancing saw the debt package extended to 2021 and 2022, with Macquarie repurchasing a minority shareholding bought by the lenders of the 2012 deal.

Figures provided by Park24 indicate a net loss for NCP for the year ending March 2017 of £11.2 million, down from a loss of £1.9 million the previous year. The company’s EBITDA stands at £32.6 million, up from £25.1 million, with revenues of £237.3 million. NCP’s operations consist of 148,056 spaces across 498 sites and will add to Park24’s burgeoning portfolio that now spreads over 19,000 parking sites across eight countries, including New Zealand, UK and Australia. Park24 is eyeing further consolidation.

“The acquisition of NCP will not only significantly strengthen [Park24’s] UK business that is operated through Secure Parking, but also enhances the company’s foundation for future expansion into Europe,” it stated.

MEIF2’s divestments now include Thames Water, Airwave and Varmevarden, with deals for Arqiva, techam and Condor Group, among others still to be sealed.