Zayo buyer EQT reports record investments in 2019

Zayo buyer EQT reports record investments in 2019

12 February 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Private equity company EQT invested a record €11.9 billion in infrastructure and other companies in 2019, CEO Christian Sinding said this morning.

The Swedish company, which is buying Zayo in a joint purchase with Digital Colony of the US, now manages €39.9 billion worth of assets. EQT also announced this week that it is buying Deutsche Glasfaser, a German fibre carrier, in association with Omers Infratructure.

But the company is looking at the possibility of merging with another investor, Sinding said in a conference call on the company’s annual results.

“There are some firms that are a really good fit with EQT,” said Sinding (pictured), though he didn’t name any target acquisitions. “We are going to be careful about buying too-large organisations. We want sellers to became shareholders [in EQT] rather than get a pile of cash.”

This was the first annual results presentation by 25-year-old EQT since the company listed its shares on the Stockholm stock exchange.

The company is investing so heavily in infrastructure that it is looking at increasing the size of one of its existing funds, at the same time as planning a new fund, EQT IX, which is aiming to raise €14.75 billion.

“We do prefer not to raise two funds at the same time,” said Sinding.

The company sees “a healthy pipeline of investment opportunities”, he said in the call, and also has an “exit pipeline”: last year it exited investments worth $8 billion, 58% higher than in 2017.

He expressed caution that “we’re in a long-running bull market” and warned that “each company is preparing a plan B: what happens in a downturn or a financial shock”.

But there are “opportunities for continued growth”, he added, and EQT is expanding into the Asia-Pacific region. It opened an office in Sydney yesterday and is planning a Tokyo office.