Monday, October 1, 2018
Three Hills Capital Partners invests in ACT GroupInvestment Activity
London/Amsterdam, 1 October 2018 – Three Hills Capital Partners (“THCP”) has announced that it has partnered with ACT Group, the world-leading market maker in environmental energy products and certificates. THCP is investing over €60 million through a tailor-made capital solution to finance the firm in its five-year growth plan.
ACT was founded in 2009 by Bram Bastiaansen and Jaap Janssen. From inception, ACT has been a global trading house, identifying for itself the role of market maker in both obligatory and voluntary environmental energy products. As a result, it has helped catalyse the emergence of a market in environmental energy goods bringing speed, dependability, volume and ever keener pricing to the industries that depend upon such products and certificates.
Following two phases of rapid growth, the company currently has more than 125 employees internationally, and has grown to nearly €1 billion of annual traded volumes. Headquartered in Amsterdam, with additional offices in New York and Shanghai, ACT is active in over 50 geographies. The firm presently serves over 5,000 active clients, offering a one-stop-shop service for over 40 products. Certain products, including carbon credits, are bespoke “over-the-counter” by nature, and ACT provides a vital service to clients in accessing such product markets and ensuring liquidity.
THCP is partnering with ACT to support the growth plan and allow the wider management team to increase their shareholding in the company. As part of the transaction, an additional 9 employees have been promoted, bringing the total partner group to 13. Bram Bastiaansen and Jaap Janssen will remain fully engaged in their current roles as co-CEOs and will retain a majority equity stake as they lead the next phase in the organisation’s growth. The company sees near term potential to triple turnover with a commensurate growth in workforce.
Jaap Janssen, Founder and co-CEO of ACT commented: “In nine years, we have built the world’s pre-eminent trading house for environmental products and certificates. As most countries worldwide are committed to reduce their carbon emissions, their governments are opting for market mechanisms rather than subsidy programs to reach their goals. As a result, volumes are going to face exponential growth in the next five years and there is a strategic need for a global market maker to advance clarity, speed and efficiency across new geographic regions.”
Bram Bastiaansen, Founder and co-CEO of ACT commented: “ACT has been looking for the appropriate partner to accelerate development of this business and maintain our market leadership. THCP brought a collaborative approach and a far-sighted understanding of our potential. With greenhouse gas reduction a target in every major economy, there is a global demand driver for our services. We are excited to have THCP’s support in scaling up the business further to meet this.
Leks de Boer and Arjan Blok from the Benelux team at THCP, commented: “We are very excited to invest in ACT and believe there are significant opportunities to continue to build on the successes of the company – in particular through leveraging our pan-European network. We have been highly impressed by the quality of ACT and its people throughout, and are looking forward in partnering with the team to deliver exceptional growth going forward. THCP is delighted to partner with a set of outstanding entrepreneurs. This transaction reflects our commitment to backing ambitious founders and management teams across the Benelux region, who are looking for an alternative solution to traditional private equity structures.”
ACT was advised by Marktlink (corporate finance), DLA Piper (legal), EY (financial) and KPMG (commercial). THCP was advised by AXECO (corporate finance), Vriman M&A Lawyers (legal), PwC (financial and tax), Navigant Consulting (commercial) and Graph Consulting (commercial).
Marjolein De Ruijter, ACT Group, +31 20 21 99 230
Patrick Handley, Partner, Brunswick Group LLP, +44 20 7404 5959