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Private equity firm BPEA to buy Tricor from Permira in $2.8 billion deal

By Reuters

By Kane Wu

HONGKONG -Private equity firm Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) has agreed to acquire Tricor Group from buyout group Permira, in a deal valuing the business expansion specialist at $2.76 billion including debt, the three companies announced Tuesday.

BPEA won a competitive bidding process for the asset, which Permira bought in 2017 for $838 million and has since grown the business with bolt-on acquisitions, according to people familiar with the transaction.

Tricor’s chief executive officer said the group’s revenues had doubled and its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) had grown 2.5 times since the acquisition by Permira.

BPEA is buying Tricor at a little over 20 times of the Hong Kong-headquartered company’s estimate EBITDA of 2021, said two of the people, who declined to be named as the information is confidential.

Goldman Sachs advised Permira on the transaction, while BPEA‘s financial adviser is Barclays, said spokespeople of the two PE firms, declining to comment on the financial details.

Tricor did not immediately comment on the financial details.

Founded in 2000, Tricor’s offering includes investor and initial public offering services, human resources and payroll, corporate trust and debt, fund administration and international expansion, according to its website.

The company has 47 offices in 21 countries or territories with over 50,000 clients, the website said.

In July, Tricor signed deals to buy PT ASA Indonesia, which provides local payroll, accounting and tax services, and NZGT Holding Company Ltd, which specialises in trust business in New Zealand.

For BPEA, the Tricor acquisition will add to its existing portfolio in the sector. Its corporate services company Vistra Group lost to Permira in the 2016 auction of Tricor, Reuters had reported at the time.

Nicholas Macksey, a managing director at BPEA, said the investment in Tricor would be managed in the firm’s latest fund.

Hong Kong-based BPEA has raised $8.5 billion for its eighth pan-Asia fund – its target amount, and could increase the size to $10 billion in the final close, separate sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. BPEA declined to comment.

The Tricor transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals, the companies said.