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Bridgepoint plans IPO

by Krystal Scanlon 30 June 2021

Bridgepoint has announced its plans for an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

Following admission, Bridgepoint is targeting a free float of at least a quarter (25%) of issued share capital and expects it would be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK indices. “It is expected that ordinary shares representing up to a further 15% of the offer will be made available pursuant to an over-allotment option,” said a company statement.

The private equity firm is hoping to raise around £300m to support growth plans, while providing greater strategic flexibility. “Bridgepoint expects to continue to scale its existing private equity and private credit strategies in order to capture the forecast growth in its markets and continue the track record of strong AUM growth over the past two decades,” the statement said.

“Bridgepoint believes the Group could significantly enhance its middle market positioning and further deepen its market insights and platform synergies with the addition of a third core product strategy alongside private equity and private credit.”

In 2009, the firm acquired direct investment platform Hermes Private Equity (which formed the original base for Bridgepoint Development Capital), followed by EQT Credit in 2020.

Real estate (including real estate debt) and infrastructure strategies are currently “obvious attractions” to Bridgepoint, which it aims to build out as its third core asset class in the medium term.

“The Directors believe that in the medium-term the opportunity exists to launch sector-focused funds alongside the flagship funds as part of a diversification strategy,” the statement added. 

Bridgepoint’s total operating income rose from £144.8m in 2018, to £191.8m in 2020, with an underlying EBITDA increase from £43.4m to £66.1m during the same time period. “Significant further profitable growth has been achieved in the first quarter of the financial year 2021,” said the statement.

The IPO also enables Bridgepoint’s 300 employees to get shares in the business.

In light of the IPO, William Jackson (executive chair) and Adam Jones (CFO) will become the board’s executive directors, while Archie Norman, Angeles Garcia-Poveda and Tim Score will act as non-executive directors of the board. A fourth non-executive director will join Bridgepoint prior to IPO.

“We have delivered strong and consistent returns for investors and shareholders through different economic cycles,” said Jackson. “The company has been on its own journey of growth and diversification, increasing its total assets under management from €9bn in 2011 to €27.4bn 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.”

Bridgepoint has been advised by JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley as joint global coordinators, while JP Morgan acted as sole sponsor of the transaction. BNP Paribas, Citigroup Global Markets and Merrill Lynch were joint bookrunners. Moelis & Company UK acted as financial adviser to Bridgepoint.

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