Glendower, Pantheon set to lead Astorg’s €1bn TIC deal

The European buyout firm is seeking more time and capital to further grow Normec internationally while crystallising returns for investors.

Glendower Capital and Pantheon have emerged as the co-leads of a single-asset deal run by Astorg that could be worth at least €1 billion, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The two London-headquartered firms are leading the transaction to move testing, inspection and certification (TIC) services firm Normec out of Astorg’s €4.24 billion Astorg Fund VII and into a separate vehicle, according to three sources with the matter.

There are at least two other junior co-leads also set to back the transaction, in addition to syndicate members, according to one of the sources. The deal is understood to not be signed yet.

Secondaries Investor reported in February that Luxembourg-headquartered Astorg wanted more time and capital to further grow Normec internationally while crystallising returns for investors. As of February, Normec had grown five-fold since Astorg’s 2020 acquisition and has expanded from its home market of the Netherlands into Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.

Lazard is advising Astorg on financial advice, while Jefferies is providing industry and M&A research advice, Secondaries Investor reported in February.

Astorg invested in Normec in 2020, according to its website.

This is at least the second deal in Europe this year focusing on the TIC industry, which is a market estimated at around $250 billion in 2024, with projections estimating it to be worth more than $300 billion by 2029, according to various market reports.

In April, mid-market Munich-headquartered Greenpeak Partners closed its first continuation fund transaction in a deal around performing lab and TIC groups Academia and Certania. HarbourVest Partners was principal lead for both assets, while Kline Hill Partners was co-lead for Academia, according to a statement at the time. PJT Park Hill advised Greenpeak on the transaction.

This is the second secondaries deal Astorg has run on its own assets. In 2021, the firm ran a process to move investor services group IQ-EQ into a separate vehicle, as Secondaries Investor reported.

The firm has also launched a GP-led buyside business. Speaking at PEI Group’s Nexus summit in Florida in March, Sebastiaan van den Berg, a partner who is co-head of Astorg’s GP equity solutions business, said LPs were gaining comfort from the increasing number of buyout firms becoming active in backing sponsor-led transactions themselves.

“So, when it comes to single-asset GP-led secondaries, we apply exactly that same methodology that we use to underwrite our buyout deals,” he said. Van den Berg said he had heard from LPAC members who felt “additional comfort” that the price discovery process has been more thorough with the inclusion of a buyout firm on the buyside of a GP-led deal.

Astorg, Glendower, Pantheon and Jefferies declined to comment on the deal. Lazard did not return a request for comment.