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Private equity firm Bridgepoint plans to list in London

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Bridgepoint Advisers, the UK-based acquisition group, is preparing to list on the London Stock Exchange, a move that may make the company valued at approximately £2 billion and marks a rare European private equity company’s recent entry into the public market.

Bridgepoint was founded in 2000 after the NatWest Equity Partners management buyout and is currently seeking to sell about a quarter of its shares.

The listing will allow it to join a small group of publicly traded European acquisition groups, including the 3i Group, which is listed on the FTSE 100 Index, the Partners Group based in Switzerland, Eurazeo of France, and EQT Group of Sweden. Available in 2019.

The trading prices of these four companies are at or near historical highs, as are their peers Blackstone, KKR, Carlyle and Apollo, which are listed in the United States, because the industry is at a historical high Record piles of cash.

Bridgepoint has been on the “Growth and Diversity Journey”, its Executive Chairman William JacksonJoined its predecessor as a graduate student intern in 1986, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“As we continue to develop our existing strategy and further broaden our platform, we expect this strong growth to continue in the near and long term.”

The IPO will take place when private equity transactions in the UK reach a record level, raising the industry’s visibility and Provoked strong opposition Some shareholders believe that the buying group is taking advantage of the impact of Brexit and the pandemic to buy companies at low prices.

William Jackson, managing partner of Bridgepoint © Charlie Bibby/FT

Bridgepoint is owned by 140 employees and Dyal Capital Partners, which holds 20% of the shares.

According to these early-stage proposals, all shareholders will sell equal proportions of shares and dilute their holdings.

The private equity group is expected to raise about 300 million pounds through the issuance of new shares, while existing shareholders will sell part of its equity for a total of about 200 million pounds.

The additional funds will allow the acquisition group, which usually acquires companies worth up to 1.5 billion euros, to inject more cash into its own funds, expand into real estate and infrastructure and other fields and set up new offices. In recent years, it has established operations in New York, San Francisco and Amsterdam.

In a statement, Bridgepoint said that the private market is growing “because investors seek gains in a global low interest rate environment, thereby increasing their allocation to the asset class.”

Bridge point Sell ​​minority stakes Joined Dyal in 2018 to enable it to acquire rival acquisition groups EQT Group’s 3.9 billion euro credit department Last year, just as the pandemic made businesses need loans, it expanded its role in providing loans to companies.

This transaction allowed Dyal (a division of fund manager Neuberger Berman) to receive a portion of Bridgepoint’s dividends and carried interest.

Bridgepoint is probably best known in the UK for its coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger. Sell Joined the investment group JAB Holdings in 2018.It also has Support Donna, It has the international rights of MotoGP.

According to its website, the private equity firm manages approximately 26 billion euros in assets, including a 5.8 billion euro flagship European buyout fund.

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