Barclays and 3i exit Signs

Barclays Private Equity (BPE) and 3i have exited the UK safety signs maker Signs & Labels to Brady Corporation, a US labelling and signage company which operates in the UK from Banbury in Oxfordshire. The sale generated a 2.75x return for BPE. Barclays and 3i backed a secondary buyout of the business in July 1997 when they took a combined 52% stake, with Barclays taking the bulk of this. Managing director Richard Storey, who has also sold his 48% stake to Brady, led the MBO. The investment was made through 3i’s small and medium-sized investments (SMI) division, and Barclays’ was taken from its balance sheet. 3i backed the original buyout and then sold to BPE in 1997 and reinvested. Tony Hyams, now investment director at Barclays and who led the fund’s acquisition of Signs & Labels, also led 3i’s original buyout when he worked there.