Doughty Hanson Agrees to Acquire Avanza in First Spanish Deal
Doughty Hanson & Co, one of the largest independent private equity firms in Europe, has agreed to acquire Avanza, the market-leading, family-owned Spanish bus operator, in a primary LBO for an undisclosed sum.
Avanza, which is based in Madrid, is Spain’s largest urban bus operator and second largest long-distance operator. It is also Spain’s largest operator of bus stations.
Features of the Avanza acquisition are as follows:
- Doughty Hanson’s first private equity portfolio investment in Spain;
- in line with Doughty Hanson’s strategy to acquire market-leading, mid- to large-sized European businesses, often family-owned;
- continuation of Doughty Hanson’s successful pan-European and regional strategy, with local offices in Europe securing attractive investments;
- subject to regulatory approvals, expected to close in January 2007.
Francisco Gutierrez Churtichaga, Doughty Hanson’s Managing Director, Private Equity, Madrid, said:
“Doughty Hanson has developed a strong track record of understanding and catering for the specific needs of family-owned businesses and we are delighted to have secured this investment. Avanza is a strong and stable business, which we intend to develop over the long-term.
“It also expands Doughty Hanson’s commitment to the Spanish market, where it was, until now, present through other European investments with significant operations in Spain such as LM Glasfiber (the world’s leading manufacturer of blades for wind turbines) and 20-20 Mobile (the leading mobile handset and accessories distributor).”
Avanza has a number of attractive characteristics:
- market-leading business in Spain, operating in urban, regional and long-distance sectors;
- recession-resistant business, with Spanish market forecast to grow;
- strong cash flow with stable revenues from long-term concessions;
- experienced management team;
- opportunities to bid for new concessions and for value-added acquisitions in a fragmented market.
Doughty Hanson is one of the most successful private equity firms in Europe and has a long track record of successful investment. All of Doughty Hanson’s funds are in the top quartile of performance rankings.