Danish pension funds PKA and Sampension have sold Denmark’s largest property manager DEAS, which manages more than €15bn of assets, to Montagu Private Equity.
The private equity firm is buying all shares in DEAS for undisclosed sum from the two labour-market pension funds, which jointly own the property company.
Michael Nellemann Pedersen, CIO at PKA, said: “Montagu is the optimal owner for DEAS going forward and will be a strong business partner in the next stage of the company’s development.”
DEAS was set up in 1989 as a spin-off of PKA’s property administration activities, at which point PKA became the owner of the new company.
In 2002, Sampension then took a stake in the company.
Both former owners said they would continue as clients of DEAS both within the property sector and through their cooperation with DEAS over public/private partnerships (PPPs).
Last November, PensionDanmark, Sampension and PKA formed a DKK175m PPP with DEAS to build a town court building in Svendborg on the Danish island of Funen.
In March 2014, the three pension funds teamed up with DEAS on a DKK430m PPP deal to build and operate a psychiatric hospital in Vejle.
In addition to property management, DEAS also provides technical building consultancy, facility services, real estate agency services and property asset management services.
It has more than 1,009 clients and manages 82,000 rental units within more than 2,100 properties, with 7m sqm of space.
Montagu said the Danish property management market was expected to grow strongly, driven by an increasing number of properties on the market, a shift towards institutionally owned rental properties and the fact more property management is being outsourced because of growing complexity and regulation.
It said DEAS was in a good position to do well from this development.
Mads Hansen, director at Montagu, said: “DEAS is an exciting and typical investment for Montagu, with solid growth prospects and a strong management team to back.”
DEAS chief executive Henrik Dahl Jeppesen said the company would sharpen its focus on customers.
“We are now establishing an advisory board, where we and our biggest clients will discuss business development, market trends within property and customer service and tenant satisfaction,” he said.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.