By Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) -Private equity firm Bridgepoint said on Tuesday it planned to list on the London Stock Exchange, raising at least 300 million pounds ($416.10 million) from new shares to help fund its growth plans and pay down debt.
The decision to list follows a buoyant few years for private markets as more investors turn to the private markets for yield in a world of central bank-suppressed interest rates. Private equity deals have risen in Britain this year, prompting questions from some public shareholders and newspapers on whether buyout firms are taking advantage of COVID-19 and Brexit to snap up companies at cut-price valuations.
Bridgepoint, which focuses on mid-sized deals of up to 1 billion euros ($1.19 billion), was formed in 2000 after a management buyout of NatWest’s private equity arm.
The company, which manages 27.4 billion euros ($32.65 billion) across a range of private equity and debt funds, said it aims to have a free-float of at least 25% and expects an over-allotment option of a further 15% of the offer size.
It said it would sell 300 million pounds of new shares as well as see some existing investors sell down their holdings.
JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) are joint global co-ordinators on the deal, it said in a statement.
Total operating income at Bridgepoint was 191.8 million pounds in 2020 and the company said “significant further profitable growth” was recorded in the first quarter of the financial year 2021.
“Over the last 30 years we’ve built the global leader in middle market growth investing, with strength and depth across two very complementary strategies in private equity and private credit,” said Bridgepoint’s Executive Chair William Jackson.
“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.”
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