Apex eyes growth in ESG, private debt following close of Sanne deal

CEO points to firms’ complementary businesses as a benefit from the acquisition, which brings serviced assets to almost $3trn.

Service provider Apex Group is aiming to grow in the ESG and private debt spaces after completing its acquisition of Sanne Group, founder and CEO Peter Hughes told Private Funds CFO.

“We’re focusing on making sure we really push out those two primarily,” he said. There are more spaces as well, Hughes noted, stating “we have a lot of other strong offerings behind that.”

Bermuda-based Apex said on Thursday that it closed its purchase, boosting its serviced assets to nearly $3 trillion. Terms announced for the deal almost a year ago called for a cash purchase, valuing its ordinary share capital at around £1.51 billion ($1.84 billion, €1.79 billion).

The CEO cited expanded geography and product offerings as benefits from buying Sanne.

The firm said the deal has increased its staff by 2,500 and gives it locations in six markets: Japan, Spain, South Africa, Serbia, Denmark and Sweden.

The service providers each have strengths in different areas, Hughes said, with Apex in private equity and Sanne in real estate.

Apex will gradually absorb Sanne’s operations, the CEO told Private Funds CFO. Hughes also said that the deal will not lead to layoffs – he noted that Apex has been growing its staff by each month by about 300 – nor will it cut geographical operations.

“There’s a scarcity of good resources in our industry,” Hughes said about available talent.

Apex said its headcount is more than 10,000 and it has offices in 40 countries.

The firm, founded in 2003, said it has made 31 completed acquisitions. Most of these deals have been in just the past five years, Hughes said. The company intends to do more deals, but Hughes noted that they will be smaller than the one for Sanne.