Bridgepoint unveils plans for stock market flotation set to value group at £2bn
Private equity firm Bridgepoint has unveiled plans for a stock market flotation reportedly set to value the group at around £2 billion.
Bridgepoint – which was spun out of NatWest bank in 2000 – is looking to float at least a quarter of its shares to raise around £300 million from the initial public offering (IPO) to fund growth plans, boost cash in its own funds and pay down debts.
It would join a small band of listed European buyout groups, including FTSE 100 firm 3i Group, and comes amid a boom in private equity deals.
But the flurry of private equity deals is coming under increasing scrutiny as concerns mount that the sector is taking advantage of cheap prices following the pandemic and Brexit woes.
The IPO announcement also follows hot on the heels of Bridgepoint’s move last week to take a minority stake in Itsu, understood to value the Asian fast-food chain at £100 million.
Bridgepoint will also provide investment to help fund the expansion of 100 new Itsu sites and create 2,000 jobs in the UK.
The buyout firm, which was formerly NatWest’s Equity Partners division, largely invests in firms worth up to around 1.5 billion euros (£1.3 billion) in the so-called middle market investor sector.
One of its most well-known investments was sandwich chain Pret a Manger, which it owned for 10 years before selling to investment group JAB Holdings in 2018.
Bridgepoint has more than £23 billion in assets under management and a network of 10 offices across Europe, the United States and Asia.
The group has 43 partners, more than 300 employees and over 170 investment professionals.
William Jackson, executive chairman of Bridgepoint, said: “The company has been on its own journey of growth and diversification, increasing its total assets under management from 9 billion euros (£7.7 billion) in 2011 to 27.4 billion euros (£23.5 billion) as of 31 March 2021.
“Today, Bridgepoint has an increasingly global footprint across Europe, North America and Asia.
“We expect this strong growth to continue in the near and longer-term as we continue to develop our existing strategies and further broaden our platform.”