Private equity firm Bridgepoint plans London listing

In a statement private equity firm Bridgepoint said, it plans to raise $416 million (300 million pounds) through an IPO to help funds its growth and repay debt. The decision for a listing on the London Stock Exchange comes in the wake of a investors turning to private markets for higher yield with central banks keeping very low interest rates.

With private equity deals seeing a significant rise this year, questions are being raised by some public shareholders and newspapers whether buyout firms are taking advantage of COVID-19 and Brexit to snap up companies at cut-price valuations.

Bridgepoint which manages 27.4 billion euros across a range of private equity and debt funds, 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 aims to sell 300 million pounds of new shares as well as see some existing investors sell down their holdings.

The IPO is likely to raise nearly 500 million pounds and could see the company’s valuation touch around 2 billion pounds, said a source familiar with the deal.

JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are joint global co-ordinators on the deal.

Last year, the company’s total operating income was 191.8 million pounds; it reported “significant further profitable growth” in the first quarter of this fiscal year.

“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.”

($1 = 0.8391 euros)

($1 = 0.7210 pounds)

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