TA and Warburg Pincus Complete Epassi Group Acquisition and Simultaneously Announce Transformational Acquisition of Exercite from Waterland Dec 12, 2023
- Combination with Exercite will accelerate Epassi’s journey towards building Europe’s leading digital multi-benefit provider to corporates and employees
Helsinki – 12 December 2023 – Epassi Group (“Epassi” or “the Company”), a market leader for digital employee benefit payments in the Nordics, UK and Italy, today announced the strategic acquisition of Exercite, a provider of corporate health and wellness benefit solutions in Germany and the Netherlands, from Waterland Private Equity (“Waterland”) and its founders. The transaction follows the simultaneous completion of a majority investment in Epassi from TA Associates (“TA”) and Warburg Pincus LLC (“Warburg Pincus”), two leading global private equity firms focused on growth investing.
Established in 2004, Exercite operates across four brands, including Hansefit, a leading corporate health and wellness network provider in Germany; Bedrijfsfitness Nederland (BFNL) and Workit, two leading corporate health and wellness network providers in the Netherlands; and Fitbase, a provider of online, digital wellbeing courses based in Germany. Together, the brands provide access to a large network of gyms, fitness studios, swimming pools, spa services and physiotherapist centers to more than 2.5 million employees, alongside an array of digital offerings in mindfulness, sports and wellbeing.
The combination of Epassi and Exercite creates one of Europe’s largest independent employee benefits providers, adding more than 7,000 corporate customers and over 12,000 merchants to Epassi’s growing portfolio. The combined group will serve approximately 20,000 companies across seven countries in Europe (Germany, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, UK and Ireland), enabling their employees to redeem a comprehensive range of benefits from over 74,000 merchants.
“As employees worldwide continue to strive for greater work-life balance, employee benefits, including access to health and wellness solutions, have become increasingly important to hiring and retaining top talent”, said Pekka Rantala, CEO of Epassi. “Our aim is to become the leading pan-European multi-benefits provider, and this acquisition will be instrumental to achieving this goal. Building on this significant milestone, we are excited to further accelerate our growth in partnership with TA and Warburg Pincus and to warmly welcome all new colleagues from Exercite to join the Epassi family.”
“After a very successful partnership with Waterland, this marks an exciting new chapter in our history. We look forward to working closely alongside Epassi, as well as TA and Warburg Pincus, to continue to provide our corporate customers, employees and network partners with best-in-class health and wellness offerings. We particularly look forward to leveraging Epassi’s mobile platform to expand Exercite into a broader multi-benefit provider”, added Dr. Alexander Wellhöfer, CEO of Exercite.
“With the acquisition of Exercite, Epassi expands its geographic footprint to include Germany and the Netherlands, solidifying it as a pan-European, digital-first platform for employee benefits payments. We are thrilled to mark the start of our partnership with this positive contribution to growth and margins, and look forward to continued collaboration with the Epassi, Exercite and Warburg Pincus teams", stated Naveen Wadhera, Managing Director, Max Cancre, Director, and Laurent Indekeu, Vice President, at TA.
“Exercite is a compelling and transformational acquisition for Epassi, substantially accelerating our joint long-term value creation plan and giving the Company significant scale in the large and attractive German and Dutch corporate health and wellness markets. M&A in Europe’s largest employment markets is a core element of TA and Warburg Pincus’ investment strategy for Epassi and will continue to drive long-term value creation across the platform”, said Issam Abedin, Principal, and Tarik-Timo Ghoniem, Vice President, at Warburg Pincus.
“Our journey with Exercite began with the ambition to create a leader for corporate fitness and digital health services. The company has not only achieved this goal but also expanded its reach in Europe through strategic acquisitions. Joining an international group marks a new chapter of growth and innovation for Exercite”, explained Dr. Gregor Hengst, Managing Partner at Waterland. “Together with Waterland and our ambitious management team, we managed to bring Hansefit and Exercite Group to the next level while maintaining our strong commitment to our customers and partners”, concludes Jens Pracht, founder of Hansefit.
Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The Exercite transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Goodwin, Kirkland & Ellis and Paul Weiss advised TA and Warburg Pincus on the acquisition of Epassi and the combination with Exercite. Hengeler Mueller advised Waterland.
Epassi, founded in 2007 in Helsinki, is a market leader in the provision of employee benefits within the Nordics, Italy and the UK. The unique and scalable solution drives mobile tech and payment solutions to open up a world of health and well-being possibilities, combining all benefits in one user-friendly service. Epassi Group is Europe’s leading digital solution for employee benefits, with a reach of nearly 13 million users, over 13,500 employers, and more than 62,000 service providers. Epassi is a trailblazer fintech company in the Nordic countries and has been awarded by the Financial Times as one of the fastest growing companies in Europe in 2022 and 2023.Epassi – Boosting everyday well-being. www.epassi.com.
Exercite is the leading B2B health and wellness network in Germany and the Netherlands. Through its strong brands Hansefit, Bedrijfsfitness Nederland, and Fitbase, the company serves as a comprehensive aggregating platform for corporate wellbeing. It provides more than 2.5m employees of over 7,000 corporate customers with access to more than 12,000 sports and health facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, wellness facilities, physiotherapies, climbing gyms and dance studios. Exercite has continuously expanded its service offering and is today also a market leader in digital health promotion. More information on www.hansefit.de / www.bedrijfsfitnessnederland.nl / www.fitbase.de
TA is a leading global private equity firm focused on scaling growth in profitable companies. Since 1968, TA has invested in more than 560 companies across its five target industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services. Leveraging its deep industry expertise and strategic resources, TA collaborates with management teams worldwide to help high-quality companies deliver lasting value. The firm has raised $65 billion in capital to date and has over 150 investment professionals across offices in Boston, Menlo Park, Austin, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong. More information about TA can be found at www.ta.com.
About Warburg Pincus
Warburg Pincus LLC is a leading global growth investor. The firm has more than US$84 billion in assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 250 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector, and geography. Warburg Pincus is an experienced partner to management teams seeking to build durable companies with sustainable value. Since its founding in 1966, Warburg Pincus has invested more than US $113 billion in over 1,000 companies in more than 40 countries across its private equity, real estate, and capital solutions strategies. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Mauritius, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.warburgpincus.com. Follow us on LinkedIn.
Waterland is an independent private equity investment company that supports companies in realising their growth plans. With substantial financial resources and industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to achieve accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions. Waterland as well as Waterland’s advisory firms have offices in Antwerp, Barcelona, Bussum, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, London, Manchester, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Warsaw and Zurich. Waterland currently manages around EUR 14 billion of investor commitments. More information about Waterland can be found at www.waterlandpe.com.
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