KKR wins €2.95bn Q-Park auction

The deal, agreed to by Q-Park’s management, remains subject to approval by the car park operator’s shareholders.

KKR’s infrastructure arm is set to add Q-Park to its portfolio, with the €2.95 billion acquisition pending approval from the European parking provider’s shareholders.

Q-Park, a Netherlands-based company with more than 6,300 facilities across north-west Europe, is owned mostly by Dutch pension funds and insurance companies, which the firm said initiated the sale process last year in an effort to diversify their investments. Q-Park’s leadership has already approved the deal, which if accepted is expected to close in the second half of this year.

The transaction price represents a 2016 EBITDA multiple of 15x, KKR said. Australia’s Macquarie was among the bidders that also made it through to the final round, sources told Infrastructure Investor. One of them said the firm came a “very close” second. Macquarie declined to comment.

Q-Park cited KKR’s experience in infrastructure as a boon to the company’s growth, with Q-Park chief executive calling the New York-based firm “the best partner to accelerate the roll-out of our existing strategic growth plans, explore suitable acquisitions and leverage our scale”. Q-Park’s management team is expected to stay in place after the deal.

Jesus Olmos, KKR’s global co-head of infrastructure, said the acquisition “matches our long-term view on the characteristics of the parking industry and off-street parking in particular”.

The investment will be made from KKR’s infrastructure funds, the second of which closed in July 2015 at $3.1 billion, although the firm declined to comment on the specific fund used. KKR is expected to launch its third infrastructure fund as soon as this summer, with a target of around $5 billion.

The news comes as France’s Ardian and Crédit Agricole Assurances are looking to exit Indigo – formerly known as Vinci Park – after acquiring the 24.6 percent they did not already own from developer Vinci last June.

Sources told Infrastructure Investor that the company’s owners were aiming for a valuation of about 15x. In 2015, Indigo’s EBITDA amounted to €281 million, according to Vinci. Both Ardian and Crédit Agricole Assurances declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Matthieu Favas