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Apex acquires Ipes from Silverfleet Capital


Private equity firm Silverfleet Capital has agreed to sell Ipes, a provider of outsourced service,s including fund administration, to the European private equity sector, to Apex Group Ltd.  

The transaction, which is expected to generate a 3.8-times money multiple and 30 per cent IRR for Silverfleet once completion, adds USD165 billion in assets under administration to Apex’s portfolio.
 
Ipes was founded in 1998 and pioneered a specialist approach to fund administration within the European Private Equity market. Ipes’ team of 265 people located in five European offices works with 195 clients and provides administration and depositary oversight to 390 funds. Annual turnover has grown organically at a CAGR in excess of 13 per cent for the previous ten years. Ipes’ growth has been driven by understanding the challenges facing investment managers, including increasing regulatory, reporting and investor demands, and developing innovative new services to help its clients succeed.
 
Silverfleet invested in Ipes in August 2013 having identified the potential to build a leading specialised outsourced service provider to Private Equity in Europe. Silverfleet expected the trend of Private Equity funds to outsource administration activities to specialised providers to continue due to increasing regulatory requirements such as AIFMD, FATCA and CRS. Since then, Ipes has achieved strong organic growth and has strengthened its pan-European footprint by more than doubling both number of clients and staff.
 
Mark Piasecki, Partner at Silverfleet Capital with responsibility for the financial services sector, says: “We are delighted with the development of Ipes over the last five years. I am pleased that we were able to assist management in successfully executing their organic growth plan of investing in innovative new service propositions, such as Depositary, underpinned by significant investment into Ipes’ sector leading proprietary technology solutions of Capital Tracker and ID Register. We wish Chris and the team well under the combination with Apex.”
 
Peter Hughes (pictured), Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Apex Fund Services, says: “This deal marks another momentous milestone for Apex, positioning us as the fifth largest fund administrator in the world – a goal we set out to achieve over a five-year period but have achieved in just under a year. Our focused growth strategy is designed to build out the global Apex portfolio of services and increase our expert resources across key markets. Throughout this growth we remain steadfast and committed to upholding the hallmarks of the Apex brand—offering flexibility in the solutions we offer, exceptional locally delivered customer service, and wrapping that framework around best-in-class technologies.”
 
Chris Merry, Chief Executive Officer of Ipes, says: “I would like to thank Silverfleet for their support. With their help and expertise, we have successfully grown our client base and expanded Ipes’ capabilities through innovative, technology-led, new services to our clients. This has resulted in consistently strong organic growth over the last five years and cements Ipes’ position as a leading provider of outsourced services to Private Equity in Europe. We are excited about the next stage of Ipes’ journey and, coupled with Apex’s impressive track record and scale, will ensure our standards of client service are maintained going forward.”
 
Silverfleet Capital has a longstanding track record of investing in the business and financial services sector having financed the original buyout of TMF from SNS Reaal. The firm recently (in January 2018) divested CCC, one of Europe’s leading BPO service providers to Ardian. In addition, Silverfleet has Lifetime Training, the UK’s leading apprenticeship training provider, in its current business & financial services portfolio. The sale of Ipes marks yet another successful exit for Silverfleet in this sector.
 
Macquarie Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor and Willkie Farr & Gallagher provided legal counsel Apex. N M Rothschild & Sons acted as financial advisor and Travers Smith provided legal counsel to Ipes.

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