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CLASS IN SESSION. Finland’s Adapteo (ADAPT.ST) builds schools. Its would-be owner West Street Global Infrastructure Partners, a fund run by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, is teaching a lesson in how to find value amid frothy markets. Adapteo Chairman Peter Nilsson on Monday recommended shareholders accept the Goldman vehicle’s $970 million offer. A 53% premium to Friday’s closing price at first glance seems rich. At 11.7 times forward EBITDA including debt, it’s above Adapteo’s two-year median valuation of 8.6 times EBITDA, using Refinitiv data.
Judged against U.S. peer WillScot Mobile Mini’s (WSC.O) 12.3 times multiple, however, the price seems more reasonable. The market for flexible “modular” buildings, made from Lego-style blocks which can be swapped around, is growing fast. Adapteo’s new owners could pour far more money into the company than public investors are prepared to do. It’s notable that European rivals are mostly privately owned. The best targets for investors in today’s public markets are arguably the assets that don’t belong there. (By Liam Proud)
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