3i Infrastructure is investing €220m to buy a company which owns cold sterilisation facilities, a deal which diversifies the UK-listed investment trust’s sector exposure and broadens its presence in France.

The long-term investor in infrastructure businesses and assets said it will acquire up to 100% of Ionisos from Ardian.

Established in 1993, French company Ionisos is the third-largest cold sterilisation provider globally and operates a network of 11 facilities in Europe with market-leading positions in France and Spain.

Richard Laing, chair of 3i Infrastructure, said: “Ionisos represents a great opportunity for 3i Infrastructure to diversify its sector exposure and increase its presence in the French market.

“It is a resilient business providing essential infrastructure to sectors with attractive long-term fundamentals.”

Phil White, managing partner and head of infrastructure, 3i Investments, the investment manager of 3i Infrastructure, said: “Ionisos is a defensive business which has grown organically and through bolt-on M&A.

“We look forward to working with the management team to continue its strong track record of providing market-leading services while growing its presence across Europe.”

Christoph Herkens, CEO of Ionisos said: “3i Infrastructure has a strong international team and network which we feel will be of great support as we accelerate our growth through acquisition, organic growth and further development of our business across Europe.

“Its permanent capital and long-term perspective make it an attractive partner.”