Cognetas buys Argenta

Cognetas, a European buyout firm, has acquired Gruppo Argenta, an Italian vending machine business, alongside Investitori Associati.

Terms were not disclosed for the transaction, in which management retained a stake. Cognetas was advised by Lazard, Deloitte and Houlihan Lokey.

The vendors were Advent International and minority shareholder PM & Partners, with the latter rolling over some of its proceeds to reinvest in the business. Advent first invested in Argenta in June 2005 and has since carried out a buy-and-build strategy, integrating 11 acquisitions and doubling sales. Advent was advised by HSBC and Lovells.

Headquartered in Modena, Argenta owns approximately 120,000 vending machines serving 65,000 businesses throughout Italy. The business has a leading market share in the Italian market, which has an aggregate value of close to €2bn (US$2.86bn).

Argenta is Cognetas’ first Italian deal since opening an office in Milan in September 2006. The firm’s other deals in B2B services include Safety Kleen Europe, Tokheim and GSL, which it sold to UK support services group G4S earlier this week for £355m.