Newsletter December 2018

20.12.2018

Newsletter December 2018

Dear All

We are pleased to share with you some highlights from 2018. It has been another successful year for Aurelius, characterised by the strengthening of our portfolio with new investments, as well as the further growth of our UK team.

News and developments in the UK

2018 was a busy year for our team in the UK in which we announced four deals and a number of significant developments across our portfolio. We were pleased to welcome four new joiners to our team and in September we moved into a new, larger office space in Central London. Highlights this year included:

UK Acquisitions and portfolio development

  • Carve-out of Connect Books from FTSE-listed specialist distribution company Connect Group Plc. The company rebranded as Bertram Group upon completion of our acquisition in February » Read announcement and made its first strategic bolt-on acquisition under Aurelius’ ownership in December, acquiring Education Umbrella, a leading supplier of books and digital learning resources. » Read announcement
  • Acquisition of Ideal Shopping Direct, a leading multi-channel home shopping retailer with revenues of £145 million and over 600,000 customers, from Blackstone in July. » Read announcement
  • Acquisition of Northern Paper Board, a manufacturer of boxes used for packaging from its owner managers, which will work alongside our Solidus Solutions business. » Read announcement

Team expansion

2018 marks five years since our launch in London. Since then, our team has grown to over 20 members, four of whom joined us this year. These included: Peter Wood as Principal, Paymon Daneshpay and Daven Chopra as Operations Managers, and Philip Stoner as Investment Associate. 

Awards recognition and portfolio success

  • In November, Aurelius was awarded ‘Turnaround of the Year’ at the Turnaround, Restructuring & Insolvency (TRI) Awards for its successful turnaround of Getronics. » Read announcement
  • At portfolio company level, we were delighted that two of Aurelius’ portfolio companies, WexPhotoVideo and Wordery, were ranked 5th and 9th amongst Britain’s top ten best online retailers by Which?, the largest independent consumer body in the UK. » Read announcement

Aurelius events

In January,  Aurelius hosted a breakfast event on strategic portfolio management in the industrials sector, convening a group of senior professionals from across the industrials industry, including heads of M&A at private and FTSE-listed companies and members of the advisory community. We have also participated in several industry events including: Mergermarket’s European Corporate Development Summit in London; TRI Conference in London; Private Equity Exchange Summit in Paris; SuperInvestor in Amsterdam; and a Real Deals’ roundtable on how private equity firms are dealing with Brexit uncertainty. In October we held a housewarming event for our London Office welcoming 200+ of our contacts to visit us.

Corporate Carve Out Survey

Many thanks to everyone who took part in Aurelius’ third annual Corporate Carve Out Survey in Q1, the results of which highlighted expectations of a continued rise in European corporate spin-out activity across Europe. We published the findings in a short report which can be read here. We will be distributing 2019’s survey in the new year and would again welcome your views.

News and developments at Aurelius Group

More broadly, 2018 was a busy year for Aurelius Group, which saw the firm expand into a new asset class and continue to strengthen its equity portfolio. Highlights included:

Strong results

Aurelius published another set of strong results for the first nine months of 2018. Total consolidated revenues were at EUR 2.8 billion and Aurelius generated operating EBITDA of EUR 79.7 million. At September 30, 2018, the net asset value of the AURELIUS portfolio amounted to EUR 1.37 billion and the cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 291.1 million. » Read announcement

European acquisitions and portfolio development

In 2018 Aurelius announced a number of deals including the acquisitions of:

  • Hellanor, the Norwegian automotive aftermarket wholesaler, from Hella BmbH. » Read announcement
  • VAG, the manufacturer of water and waste water values in Germany, the Czech Republic, China, India, South Africa and the United States, from US-based Rexnord. » Read announcement
  • European add-ons to Calumet Wex (our omni-channel retailer of photographic products and services), Solidus Solutions (our packaging group), GHOTEL (our hotel operator), B+P (our scaffolding services group) and Scandinavian Cosmetics (consumer brand management company).

Launch of new Investment platform

  • In October, Aurelius Group announced the launch of Aurelius Real Estate Opportunities, opening the Group up to a new asset class, real estate investment. » Read announcement
  • The development follows the launch of Aurelius Finance Company last year, an alternative lender, providing debt solutions to UK and European companies, which has provided bespoke debt solutions to more than half a dozen businesses including Entertainment Magpie Limited and Safestyle PLC since its foundation. » Read announcements

Aurelius Investments outlook for 2019

The ongoing uncertainly in the UK caused by the Brexit negotiations has provided some interesting special situations opportunities for our team in London over the past year – a theme which we expect will continue in the period ahead. We end the year with a strong pipeline of deal opportunities and are looking forward to continuing our momentum into 2019.
 
Best wishes to you and your families
Tristan Nagler 
Managing Director