28 December 2022  |  Paris

DIF Capital Partners and PGGM enter exclusive negotiations with EQT Infrastructure to acquire 50 percent of its stake in Saur

  • A consortium composed of DIF Capital Partners and PGGM has entered exclusive negotiations with EQT Infrastructure to acquire 50 percent of its stake in Saur, a leading provider of water services management solutions in France and internationally
  • Saur plays an essential part in the societies it operates in, fueled by its mission to protect and preserve water availability and quality, while minimizing discharge through efficient wastewater recycling
  • The broadened shareholder base adds new resources and expertise to support the continued long-term development of Saur’s pure-play water infrastructure platform

DIF Capital Partners is pleased to announce to have formed a consortium with the Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM (together, “the Consortium”) to enter exclusive negotiations with EQT Infrastructure III and IV funds (together, “EQT Infrastructure”) to acquire 50 percent of its stake in Saur (the “Company”). The Consortium members will each acquire 25 percent of EQT Infrastructure’s shares.

Headquartered in Paris, France, Saur is a leading innovator and service provider in the global water sector, working alongside thousands of municipalities across the globe to deliver drinking water and collect wastewater for more than 20 million people. In addition, through its Industrial Water division, the Company provides integrated water infrastructure solutions to hundreds of international blue-chip customers. Saur is present in more than 20 countries and enjoys strong market positions with long-term contracts in France, Portugal, Spain, and the Middle East.

Since the acquisition by EQT Infrastructure in 2018, Saur has undergone a successful commercial and operational transformation along with a refocus on core activities and geographical growth. EQT Infrastructure has supported the launch of a new organizational structure, accelerated organic and inorganic growth through the completion of 15 add-on acquisitions, while supporting expansion to Portugal and North America. Moreover, EQT Infrastructure has helped develop the Company’s new Industrial Water division, while implementing an ambitious ESG strategy and digitalization roadmap.

EQT Infrastructure, DIF and PGGM are committed to investing in Saur’s long-term development, providing the necessary resources and expertise to secure stability and continuous growth over the coming years. Saur is set to continue its strategic 2030 agenda focused on reinforcing its core water infrastructure activities in France and Iberia, while accelerating organic and inorganic geographic expansion and further developing its Industrial Water Solution division.

For PGGM Infrastructure Fund this acquisition contributes to the overall ambition of PGGM to invest its client PFZW’s pension capital in such a way that good and stable financial returns are combined with positive social benefits that improve livability. At the end of Q3 2022, PGGM had invested EUR 44.9 billion in Sustainable Development Investments across different asset classes, of which EUR 1.52 billion has been in water-related investments (SDG 6) in different parts of the world.

Delivering returns responsibly is one of the goals of DIF’s investment and asset management strategy, and the envisaged investment in Saur perfectly fits in this approach. DIF already has a strong footprint in water and energy transition investments as part of the more than EUR 15 billion in assets that it manages.

Matthias Fackler, Partner within EQT Infrastructure’s Advisory Team, said, “In times of rising concerns around water scarcity, Saur is a critical pillar in the societies it operates in, providing local municipalities and their citizens with clean drinking water and efficient wastewater treatment. EQT Infrastructure is proud of Saur’s development so far and we now look forward to entering its next phase of growth journey together with our new partners PGGM and DIF Capital Partners”.

Patrick Blethon, Executive Chairman of Saur Group, said, “EQT Infrastructure has been and will continue to be our partner in the construction and execution of the group’s transformation and growth acceleration strategy, mobilizing its platform to serve our corporate project. Welcoming PGGM and DIF Capital Partners onboard alongside EQT Infrastructure represents a great opportunity for Saur to develop faster and stronger.”

Dennis van Alphen, Head of Infrastructure at PGGM, said, “In today’s investment environment it is more and more important that pension capital is invested not just for financial return but to make an active contribution to society’s challenges. The envisaged investment in Saur is a seamless fit with that strategy, providing communities and companies across the world with access to clean water. We are excited to embark on this journey with our partner DIF Capital Partners and EQT Infrastructure.”

Gijs Voskuyl, Partner and Head of Infrastructure at DIF Capital Partners, said, “DIF is very excited to partner with PGGM and EQT Infrastructure in this transaction in the water sector. Saur has a very sizable and largely concession-based position in the French and Iberian Peninsula water sector and has strong growth potential, especially in the industrial water space. DIF firmly believes in Saur’s management team and looks forward to jointly growing the company towards being a sustainable leader in the industry.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals and is expected to close in Q2 2023.

EQT Infrastructure was advised by Rothschild & Co. PGGM and DIF were advised by UBS.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with more than EUR 15 billion of AUM. DIF was founded in 2005 and has built a leading position in managing mid-market investments, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

DIF follows two strategies: its traditional DIF funds, of which DIF VII is the latest fund in the series, invest in lower risk mid-sized infrastructure projects and companies in the energy transition (incl. renewables) and utilities sector, as well as PPPs and concessions. The firm’s CIF funds invest in small to mid-sized companies that will thrive in the new economy. These companies are typically active in the digital, energy transition and sustainable transportation sector.

With a team of over 200 professionals in 11 offices, DIF Capital Partners offers a unique market approach combining global presence with the benefits of strong local networks and investment capabilities. DIF is located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

For more information please visit www.dif.eu.


Contact DIF: Thijs Verburg, t.verburg@dif.eu