Private equity firm Bridgepoint plans to list in London

UK-based Bridgepoint Advisers Group is preparing to list on the London Stock Exchange, in a move that would value the company at around £2 billion and mark a rare recent entry into the public markets for a European private equity firm.

Bridgepoint, which was formed in 2000 after a management purchase from NatWest Equity Partners, is seeking to sell about a quarter of its shares.

The flotation will see it join a handful of publicly traded European acquisition groups, including the FTSE 100-listed 3i Group, the Switzerland-based Partners Group, France’s Eurazeo and Sweden’s EQT, which Listed in 2019.

All four are trading at or near all-time highs, as are their US-listed counterparts Blackstone, KKR, Carlyle and Apollo, as the industry stabilizes at Record piles of cash.

Bridgepoint has been on a ‘journey of growth and diversification’, its CEO William Jackson, who joined his predecessor in 1986 as a graduate trainee, said in a statement Tuesday.

“We expect this strong growth to continue in the short and long term as we continue to evolve our existing strategies and expand our platform further.”

The IPO will come at a time when private equity deals are at record levels in the UK, raising the profile of the industry and provoked a violent reaction From some shareholders who argue that buyout groups are taking advantage of the fallout from Brexit and the pandemic to snap up companies on the cheap.

William Jackson, Managing Partner at Bridgepoint © Charlie Bibby / FT

Bridgepoint is owned by 140 of its employees and Dyal Capital Partners, which holds a 20 percent stake.

Under the proposals, which are still at an early stage, all shareholders would sell equal proportions of their stakes and dilute their holdings.

The private equity group expects to raise around £300m from the issuance of new shares, together with existing shareholders’ sales of a portion of their equity of around £200m in total.

The extra money could allow the acquisition group, which typically buys companies worth around 1.5 billion euros, to pump more cash into its own money, expanding into areas such as real estate, infrastructure and setting up new offices. It has opened operations in New York, San Francisco and Amsterdam in recent years.

In a statement, Bridgepoint said private markets are growing “as investors increase asset class allocations as a result of searching for a return in a low global interest rate environment.”

Bridgepoint Selling a minority stake To Dyal in 2018 enabled her to buy a competitive buy set The credit arm of EQT Partners worth €3.9 billion In the past year, its role in corporate lending has expanded just as the pandemic has left businesses in need of loans.

That deal gave Dyal, a Neuberger Berman money management unit, access to a share of the profits and carried interest from Bridgepoint.

Bridgepoint in the UK is perhaps best known for its ownership of the coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger, which Sold For the JAB Holdings investment group in 2018. I did backed by us, which holds the international rights to MotoGP.

The private equity firm has about €26 billion in assets under management according to its website, including the €5.8 billion flagship European Acquisition Fund.

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