27 Jaunuary 2006
STAR Capital Partners completes two new German
STAR Capital Partners (“STAR”), the
European investment fund focused on investing in capital intensive
businesses, announces the completion on 30th December 2005 of two
new deals in Germany: Abellio GmbH and GSES GmbH. The combined equity
investment (including expected future capital commitments to the
businesses) is €70 million.
STAR has acquired 75.2% of Abellio GmbH, the Essen-based
public transport operator, from Abellio Beteilegungs GmbH (“ABG”)
(wholly-owned by the City of Essen). ABG will continue to hold a
minority stake in the business. Abellio is a leading operator of
local transport services in Germany and during 2005 secured key
rail and bus businesses in North Rhein Westfalia, Saxony, Lower
Saxony and Saxony Anhalt. Abellio has interests in transport operations
covering over 17 million kilometers per annum.
The Company is led by Wolfgang Meyer (CEO) and
Iain Lanaghan (CFO), formerly Group Finance Director of FirstGroup
plc in the UK. Giles Fearnley (former Chief Executive of Prism Rail
plc) will join the Board alongside STAR representatives.
Graham Lee, Investment Director of STAR, said:
“This is our first joint venture with the public sector and
we are thrilled to invest in this exciting opportunity. We look
forward to supporting Abellio and its highly experienced management
to develop the business into Germany’s leading independent
public transport operator.”
Wolfgang Meyer, CEO
of Abellio, said:
"We welcome the support of STAR and believe that the partnership will enable
Abellio to take full advantage of the significant opportunities
in this growing market and to provide attractive solutions for public
STAR has also acquired GSES, one of Europe's leading
underground waste facility operators. The business was acquired from a consortium
of investors led by First Analysis (a US private equity group). GSES is the owner
and operator of a salt mine in Thuringia, which is used predominantly for the disposal
of commercial and industrial waste. This niche area of the waste market is growing in
importance as EU and member state regulations increasingly restrict access to surface landfills.
Stephen Wright, Managing Director of STAR, commented:
"GSES plays an essential role in reducing the environmental impact from the disposal of hazardous waste and we therefore believe it
has excellent prospects for future growth. We look forward to working with the existing management team
who have successfully developed the business from a start-up in 1995."
Jaap van Engers, founder
and Managing Director of GSES, said:
"We are very excited to have STAR as a partner for GSES. Their support will allow us to continue to offer our clients a reliable long term
olution to their waste disposal needs and enable us to invest to broaden the services we offer."
Peter Kuehnle, Business
Development Director of STAR in Germany, commented:
"We are very pleased to announce these two transactions which each reflect
our strategy to invest in strategic, capital intensive assets. Together
with our two existing investments in German businesses, this also
demonstrates our commitment to the German economy."