Baar-Zug, Switzerland; 17 October 2020
Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has, on behalf of its clients, agreed to acquire a significant equity stake in Telepass S.p.A ("Telepass" or "the Company"), a leading electronic toll collection ("ETC") services provider in Europe. Following the acquisition, Partners Group will become joint owner of Telepass with its current investor Atlantia, a global leader in the transport sector. The transaction values Telepass at an enterprise value of over EUR 2 billion.
Telepass is a leading European provider of electronic tolling services to approximately 7 million clients, with a strong asset base of more than 12 million active payment devices. The infrastructure services business processes around EUR 7 billion in annual transactions across 14 European countries, servicing over 105,000 kilometers of motorway network. Telepass complements its core ETC services with other transport-related services, such as digital mobility payments, for example for fuel, parking, taxis, car and bike sharing services, as well as personal mobility insurance services. Telepass' core ETC business has long-term stable cash flows underpinned by high retention rates, with an average customer life of around eight years, and a fixed subscription fee model with low correlation to GDP fluctuations. This, combined with the growth potential of its mobility payment and insurance services, offers a unique opportunity for Partners Group to implement an operational value creation strategy in a resilient sector.
Following the transaction, Partners Group and Atlantia will work closely with Telepass management on a number of strategic value creation initiatives to accelerate the business' existing growth trajectory, build scale across Europe and establish a leading pan-European platform for customer-centric mobility services. Key areas of focus will be further penetration and consolidation of the European ETC market through organic and acquisitive growth; strengthening the "one-stop mobility payment" solution for B2C and B2B customers; scaling mobility insurance coverage across Europe; and working alongside Atlantia and key municipalities to foster Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives to optimize urban transport, reducing congestion and CO2 emissions.
Gabriele Benedetto, Chief Executive Officer, Telepass, states: "We welcome Partners Group to the Telepass team. The firm's excellent operational capabilities and history of supporting companies to grow their geographical footprint, expand service areas, and advance technologically will help us to build on our strong presence throughout Europe and drive our inorganic growth strategy. This acquisition is happening at a key point in Telepass' growth and we look forward to benefiting from the size and strength of Partners Group's platform, as well as the team's responsible ownership approach."
Livio Fenati, Senior Member of Management, Private Infrastructure Europe, Partners Group, says: "This is a compelling opportunity to support an outstanding, non-cyclical asset with a strong brand in the attractive, high-growth transport sector identified by our Thematic Sourcing approach. The Company is uniquely positioned to benefit from the growing electronic payment sector as the global transition to non-cash payments continues, as well as the significant opportunities to expand the asset base via inorganic and acquisitive growth in its core ETC business. Partners Group's global platform and strong asset management capabilities make Telepass an excellent fit for our transformational investing strategy."
Shreya Malik, Member of Management, Private Infrastructure Europe, Partners Group, adds: "We are looking forward to working actively with Atlantia and Telepass' management team to expand into adjacent ETC markets, develop a more diversified customer base, and accelerate the growth of its already high-quality and resilient platform. In addition, Partners Group will work closely with Atlantia on key ESG focus areas for the asset, bringing the expertise we have gained from implementing sustainable measures across our global portfolio, and the emphasis we place on stakeholder prosperity, to this investment. We are excited to bring Partners Group's experience in the sector to actively support Telepass' next phase of growth."