July 25th, 2016 | Press Releases

Backed by Ambienta, IP Cleaning acquires control of Vaclensa

by Ambienta

Milan, Manchester, 25 July 2016. Ambienta, the largest European private equity fund specialising in environmental investments, is pleased to announce that it has entered an agreement to purchase Vaclensa Ltd by its portfolio company IP Cleaning SpA (“IPC”).

Vaclensa is one of the largest independent distributors of professional cleaning machines in the UK, with c. 100 employees including a network of engineers spread across the country providing high-value aftersales services to blue chip clients, and other innovative cleaning solutions. Vaclensa is the key distribution partner for IPC in the region, and IPC is the key supplier to the company. With a resilient business model based largely on recurring revenues and significant room for expanding its customer base in the UK, Vaclensa represents an ideal partner to further strengthen the positioning of IPC as a European leader in its reference market.

IPC is the #3 player in the European professional cleaning market. The company manufactures its products in five plants located in the North of Italy and employs c. 1,000 people. It is a truly global company with product sales to over 100 countries. Approximately 90% of sales are recorded outside Italy, of which a significant portion are from outside of Europe, driven by a network of subsidiaries and distributors through which the company sells its products. Professional cleaning is an industry which revolves around and competes over resource efficiency: energy, water and detergents. IPC has developed innovative solutions across its product portfolio that in 2015 enabled energy savings of 8,000 tons of oil equivalent, water savings of 30,000 cubic meters (equal to the annual consumption of c. 200,000 families) and reduced the usage of 1,000 tons of polluting detergents.

Over the last two years IPC has strengthened its senior management, launched a suite of new products, revisited its commercial strategy and marketing, and streamlined its corporate structure. This has allowed IPC to record continuous growth and created a solid basis to target further growth, while maintaining market-leading profitability. The acquisition of Vaclensa represents an important milestone for IPC in its journey to consolidate a prominent position in Europe and further expand its roster of key accounts. Under the leadership of its managing director Ian Miller, Vaclensa is expected to unlock significant synergies as part of the wider IPC group. This acquisition will drive IPC revenues towards the €200ml mark.

Nino Tronchetti Provera, Managing Partner at Ambienta, commented: “With 70 million consumers, the UK is a critical market and will remain so regardless of its potential exit from the EU. Ambienta fosters a private equity approach based on industrial projects, which has been proven to deliver as in our recent exit of SPIG to Babcock & Wilcox”.

Mauro Roversi, Chief Investment Officer at Ambienta, commented: “With this transaction which is our 10th add-on, Ambienta has once again proven its capability to scout and execute build-up opportunities across Europe, buying directly from entrepreneurs like in almost all our previous deals and delivering long-term strategic value to its portfolio companies”. Francesco Lodrini, principal at Ambienta, added: “Having successfully completed the first phase of internal reinforcement, IPC is now fully equipped to target organic and external growth internationally, and Vaclensa represents a key step in that direction”.

Federico De Angelis, CEO at IPC commented: “The last two years have been transformational for IPC; I am very happy to now see the company acting as a consolidator in the market. I strongly believe in the potential value creation stemming from this acquisition”. Ian Miller, Managing Director at Vaclensa, added: “Vaclensa and IPC have been partners for the last 15 years, leveraging on each other’s strengths to successfully penetrate the UK market. This transaction represents the natural evolution of our relationship, unlocking further synergies”.

The transaction was managed by Mauro Roversi (Partner), Francesco Lodrini (Principal) and Andrea Venturini (Associate), with the local support of Ambienta’s UK team. Ambienta was advised by Osborne Clarke (legal), Deloitte (financial and tax), Eden McCallum (commercial) and Linklaters (banking). Vaclensa was advised by Hill Dickinson LLP (legal) and DTE Business Advisers (financial and tax).