Thursday, June 20, 2024

Major York firm sold to French financier for reported ‘£1.5billion’

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The Shepherd family has sold Portakabin to French-owned finance company Antin Infrastructure Partners.

Neither party will put a price on the sale, but when sales talks began last year, Sky News quoted a figure exceeding £1.5 billion.

The sale, agreed last month, still has to meet regulatory approval, which is expected by the end of June.


It follows the Shepherd Family rising up the Sunday Times Rich List, published earlier this month, with their wealth increasing by £411 million over the past year to £1.104 billion.

Portakabin was established in 1961 and employs 2,200 people across seven countries, including 750 at its York headquarters.

The company owns a fleet of more than 100,000 modular units, which it leases to over 4,000 customers across the UK and key regions in Europe. Its Portaloos are a familiar sight at events.

Antin Infrastructure Partners is a leading private equity firm focused on infrastructure.

It manages over €31 billion of investment in energy and environment, digital, transport and social infrastructure. It employs 220 in its offices in Paris, London, New York, Singapore, Seoul and Luxembourg.

A Portakabin statement said: “As an experienced infrastructure investor, Antin will support the next stage of growth for Portakabin to deliver high quality, customised, modular and circular solutions to essential end markets.”

The investment from Antin, the statement continued, “will allow Portakabin to accelerate its growth” and meet rising demand for modular buildings.

The company, based in New Lane, Huntington, has customers in education, healthcare, public infrastructure, commercial and industrial sectors.

The Press approached both Portakabin and Antin to confirm the impact of the take-over on staffing and production at Huntington.

Antin, which was given responsibility to comment, did not respond to requests from The Press and neither would give a sale price.

But an earlier statement said Antin had “extensive experience” of the sectors Portakabin operated in.

Portakabin CEO Dan Ibbetson said: “We are excited to welcome Antin as a long-term partner and leverage its resources to accelerate our growth trajectory. With Antin, Portakabin is well-positioned to further reinforce its position as a champion of modular infrastructure solutions in the coming years as we continue to deliver best-in-class solutions to our customers.”

Antin senior partner and head of the London office Simon Söder, said: “We are delighted to invest in Portakabin to help the company write the next chapter in its impressive growth story. We look forward to working closely with the strong Portakabin management team to build on its 60-year history of delivering high-quality modular building infrastructure.”

Antin managing partner Angelika Schöchlin added: “Since inception, Antin has placed sustainability at the centre of our firm internally and across our portfolio. Portakabin aligns perfectly with our investment strategy of meeting the essential needs of communities through sustainable solutions.”

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