Another exit for Bridgepoint

Bridgepoint Capital is celebrating another exit from its portfolio. The firm has sold its majority stake in Eurogestion, the French pest control and hygiene services company to ISS, the Danish support services group for EURO155 million.

Bridgepoint generated a good multiple on the exit, although the value was undisclosed. When Bridgepoint acquired Eurogestion in 1999, the firm aimed to double the turnover of the company within five years. It has achieved this in three years. The sale also provides an exit for minority shareholders Gresham Private Equity and Quartus Gestion who have sold their stakes in the business.

Eurogestion was acquired in November 1999 in a secondary buyout from Electra Partners Europe and Morgan Grenfell Investments (now part of DB Capital). The deal was valued at around A$125 million, according to Australian private equity manager Gresham Private Equity.

Through an intensive buy and build programme, Bridgepoint has worked with Eurogestion management to improve profitability in France, as well as developing the business in Europe and Australia. The company has made 11 acquisitions in under three years. The most significant buy and build the company completed was the acquisition of Italian company Libico in May last year.

The acquisition by ISS, which already operates in 32 countries and has over 260,000 employees, will help to consolidate the group’s position in the hygiene and facilities services sector. Eurogestion, which has 2,000 employees has operations in nine countries including Malaysia and Singapore. In 2001, it had sales of EURO122 million.

Bridgepoint recently won evcj’s mid-market financial sponsor of the year award for 2001 on the back of a string of successful investments and exits including Birmingham International Airport (a 1995 investment sold to Macquaire Airports Group, a private equity airport investment fund formed by Macquaire Bank), Capella (a 1998 investment sold to Finland Post), Healthcall (a 1998 investment sold to Nestor Healthcare Group plc), Lee Cooper (a 1994 investment sold to Matalan, the UK’s largest out of town fashion retailer), UK luxury motor yacht manufacturer Sealine International (a 1998 investment sold to US company Brunswick Corporation) and Principal Hotels (a 1994 investment sold to Nomura Principal Finance in a secondary buyout transaction.)