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Gilde Buy Out Partners to divest Powerlines to ENGIE Ineo


Zürich/ViennaENGIE Ineo announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Powerlines, a leading European full-service provider of critical electrical infrastructure, from funds advised by Gilde Buy Out Partners (“Gilde”).

Headquartered near Vienna, Austria, Powerlines is a leading systems supplier for planning, installation and maintenance of catenary systems for railway and mass transit (metro, tram, trolley-bus) as well as of high-voltage transmission and distribution line infrastructure. Powerlines has a diversified footprint in central and northern Europe with strong market positions in Austria, Germany, and the UK, backed by well-trained local teams. The company has long-standing relationships with blue-chip customers, predominantly consisting of state-owned railway companies and municipal transport service providers in the rail segment as well as utility companies in the energy segment.

Under Gilde’s stewardship, Powerlines internationalized and diversified its activities in strategic segments, through add-on acquisitions, greenfield investments and establishment of new product and solution groups. Recently, Powerlines successfully entered the German market for energy transmission and distribution. With the establishment of a joint-venture partnership in the UK and the subsequent full acquisition thereof, Powerlines has become a strong player in the UK focusing on catenary systems. Through the broad set-up and know-how of its more than 1,000 employees, Powerlines was successful in acquiring and completing several complex large-scale projects and has developed a strong reputation in this area. Management will continue on its path of consistent value creation and will remain at the helm of the company ensuring continuity.

Gerhard Ehringer, CEO of Powerlines:

“We are proud of the successful years of partnership with Gilde during which we further enhanced Powerlines’ positioning. During the last years, we transformed the business into a leading European electrical rail infrastructure player with a strong platform for growth in the energy sector. Today Powerlines is ideally positioned to benefit from two large megatrends: decarbonization in transportation and the turnaround in energy policy. Under the new ownership with ENGIE Ineo, we will be able to continue with our defined strategy on our path of growth and success.”

Gianluigi Manna, Partner at Gilde, adds:

“The development of Powerlines over the last years has been impressive. Megatrends have been supporting its strong growth, and management has been pulling the right levers by entering new segments and winning large-scale tender projects. We wish Powerlines, its management and employees as well as the new shareholder ENGIE Ineo all the best for the future.”

“With the Powerlines group, ENGIE has created an international platform for transport infrastructure projects and can provide complete, turnkey solutions (finance, design, integration and maintenance) based on an “as a service” model to reduce carbon footprints and optimise services”,

said Wilfrid Petrie, ENGIE’s Executive Vice President.

Lazard acted as exclusive financial advisor to Powerlines, Gilde and minority shareholders in connection with this transaction. Further support to shareholders was provided by Binder Grösswang, Deloitte and PwC. Completion of the transaction is conditional to customary merger clearance. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Contact information:

Gilde Buy Out Partners
Maikel Wieland
Head of Investor Relations & Co-Investments
Tel: +41 43 268 20 78

About Gilde Buy Out Partners

Gilde Buy Out Partners is a leading European private equity investor in mid-market transactions with operations in the DACH region and the Benelux. Gilde manages funds in excess of EUR 3 billion and has offices in Utrecht, Brussels, Frankfurt and Zurich. Since its inception in 1982, Gilde has invested in over 250 companies across a diverse range of sectors. Gilde controls majority shareholdings in, amongst others, companies like albelli, Agilitas, Amor, Comcave, Caseking, Esdec, Kinkelder, Royal Ten Cate, Veco and Vivera.
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