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European private equity firm CVC plans to buy a majority stake in Dutch infrastructure investor DIF Capital Partners in cash and stock in a deal worth around 1 billion euros, according to four people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The deal, to be announced as early as Tuesday, is aimed at helping CVC broaden the scope of its investment strategy ahead of an expected initial public offering.
The decision to buy DIF comes as the largest private equity firm is moving into other asset classes, including private credit and infrastructure. Founded in 2005, DIF manages 16 billion euros in assets and employs more than 200 professionals across 11 offices, according to its website. The infrastructure company has investments in Europe, North America and Australia.
CVC’s biggest rivals in the traditional buyout space, such as Blackstone and Apollo, are now diversified asset managers racing to scale their respective investment strategies and provide a fee income stream to stock market investors.
Infrastructure has proven to be a particularly lucrative area for some of CVC’s peers, including EQT, KKR and Brookfield, which have been able to raise a series of increasingly large sums to invest in such deals.
The deal is also a signal of CVC’s ambitions, a few weeks after the firm raised 26 billion euros for the largest buyout fund in history. In recent years, CVC has also entered the second-hand fund equity market by acquiring Glendower Capital.
CVC has also been aggressively expanding its credit business, financing things like leveraged buyouts.
The Financial Times reported last month that CVC had revived plans for a multi-billion-euro stock listing that could take place by the end of the year. The company had previously put its listing plans on hold as market conditions deteriorated following Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine.
Bloomberg News earlier reported the talks with DIF, but did not disclose the price. CVC declined to comment, while DIF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
JPMorgan is advising CVC on the deal, while DIF is being advised by Morgan Stanley, according to three people involved.