Business

Private equity firm Bridgepoint plans to trade in London

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The UK repurchase group Bridgepoint Advisers is set to list on the London Stock Exchange, in a move that could value the company at around £ 2 billion and mark a rare recent entry into public markets for a European private company. equity.

Bridgepoint, which was founded in 2000 after a management acquisition by NatWest Equity Partners, seeks to sell about a quarter of its shares.

The flotation will see it reach a small pool of publicly traded European purchasing groups, including Group 3i listed FTSE 100, the Partners Group in Switzerland, the French Eurazeo and the Swedish EQT, which listed in 2019.

All four are traded at or near all-time highs, as are the US charts Blackstone, KKR, Carlyle and Apollo, as the industry is on save heaps of money.

Bridgepoint has taken a “journey of growth and diversification,” its executive chairman said William Jackson, who joined his predecessor in 1986 as a graduate intern, said in a statement Tuesday.

“We hope that this strong growth will continue in the near and long term as we continue to develop our existing strategies and further expand our platform.”

The IPO will come at a time when private equity trading has reached record levels in the UK, raising the profile of the industry and sparking a reaction by some shareholders who argue that takeover groups are taking advantage of the repercussions of Brexit and the pandemic to buy businesses at bargain prices.

William Jackson, co-director of Bridgepoint © Charlie Bibby / FT

Bridgepoint is owned by 140 of its staff and Dyal Capital Partners, which owns a 20% stake.

Under the proposals, which are in an initial phase, all shareholders will sell equal proportions of their stake and see their shares diluted.

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The private equity group expects to raise about £ 300 million from the issuance of new shares, in addition to existing shareholder sales of part of its capital for around £ 200 million in total.

The additional funds could allow the repurchase group, which typically buys companies with a maximum value of about $ 1.5 billion, to inject more money into their funds, expanding into sectors such as real estate and infrastructure and set up new offices. It has opened operations in New York, San Francisco and Amsterdam in recent years.

Private markets are growing “as investors increase asset class allocations as a result of the pursuit of returns in an environment of low global interest rates,” Bridgepoint said in a statement.

Bridgepoint’s sale of a minority stake at Dyal in 2018 allowed to buy a rival group of buyers € 3.9 billion loan arm from EQT Partners last year, expanding its role in lending to businesses as the pandemic left businesses in need of loans.

This agreement gave Dyal, a Neuberger Berman money management unit, access to a dividend share and brought in interest from Bridgepoint.

Bridgepoint is perhaps best known in the UK for its Pret A Manger coffee and sandwich chain properties, which she sold to the investment group JAB Holdings in 2018. It also has support Dorna, which holds the international MotoGP rights.

The private equity firm has about 26 billion euros in assets managed according to its website, including a leading European acquisition fund of 5.8 billion euros.


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