Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan to acquire 40% stake in European Camping Group

Apr 15, 2018 | Press release

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) today announced it has agreed to acquire from The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Montefiore a 40% minority stake in European Camping Group (ECG), a European provider of mobile-homes holiday rentals. Carlyle and Montefiore are maintaining majority control over ECG.

The transaction is expected to close during Q2 2018 and is subject to customary regulatory approval. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ECG CEO Alain Calmé said: “We are delighted to welcome Ontario Teachers’ among our shareholders. Their investment will support us as we pursue our organic and external growth strategy in a market we believe has strong growth potential.”

ECG generated consolidated revenues of €230 million in 2017. As of March 30, 2018, ECG owns and operates a rental fleet of more than 20,000 units, of which more than 90% are mobile-homes. These are located across c. 300 camp sites owned by either partners or ECG, mainly in France, Italy, Spain and Croatia. As a pan-European group, almost 80% of visitors to ECG’s camp sites come from outside France. ”

We have been impressed with the caliber of the senior team at ECG, which has generated strong annual growth of 25% over the last 10 years by providing affordable, high quality family holidays in excellent locations in France, Spain, Italy and Croatia,” said Jo Taylor, Senior Managing Director International at Ontario Teachers’. “We look forward to working with ECG’s existing shareholders – Carlyle and Montefiore – as well as ECG’s management team to help leverage the company’s market position and plans for growth through consolidation. Ontario Teachers’, which manages C$31.9 billion in private equity globally, is an experienced investor across Europe, including France. Our partnership with ECG is an example of our ability to respond quickly and decisively to investment opportunities where flexible or follow-up capital is required.”

Jonathan Zafrani, Managing Director, Carlyle Europe Partners, added: “Since Carlyle’s investment in ECG in 2014, the company has tripled in size, most notably through acquisitions in the UK, The Netherlands and France, and also through digital investments and by setting up its direct reservations platform. We are confident in the management team’s capacity to maintain this positive momentum and we are equally delighted to welcome Ontario Teachers’ alongside us for this next chapter in ECG’s growth.”

Eric Bismuth, President, Montefiore concluded: “ECG has been on the cutting-edge of market trends for the past 10 years, in terms of providing the best mobile-home holiday solutions and also through digital transformation in the sector. The capital investment from Ontario Teachers’ will help ECG to develop partnerships more rapidly and push ahead with new acquisitions of camp sites across Europe.”

Ontario Teachers’ were advised by BNP Paribas for M&A diligence, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for legal matters and KPMG on financial issues and structuring.

Carlyle, Montefiore and European Camping Group were advised by Rothschild for M&A diligence, DLA Piper for legal matters & structuring and PWC on financial issues.