Bridgepoint sells Hydrex

Luxembourg-listed wealth manager and private equity firm Quilvest has teamed up with Saudi Arabian engineering firm Shoaibi Group to buy Hydrex Group for £106m (US$184.7m) from UK-based mid-market buyout firm Bridgepoint.

Hydrex Group supplies mobile operated equipment and associated support services for the UK rail and materials handling sector.

Bridgepoint initially invested £15m of equity in Hydrex in March 2002 as part of a £36m to £41m management buyout. It subsequently provided additional funding for two of the four bolt-on acquisitions Hydrex has made in the past four years, including, alongside Bank of Scotland, providing cash for the company’s £8.5m purchase of Scotland-based Lindsay.

Alan Payne, a director at Bridgepoint, said: “Since we first invested four years ago, Hydrex has been successful in effecting a buy-and-build strategy that has allowed it to expand services and geographical coverage and at the same time reposition the business to take advantage of the outsourcing trend in its sector.”

Founded in 1985, the Bristol-based company’s customer base comprises specialist infrastructure maintenance and track renewal contractors as well as aggregates and waste handling.

Saudi Arabia-based Shoaibi operates in the oil and gas, power and IT and telecommunications sectors in the Kingdom and internationally. Founded more than 100 years ago to manage the wealth of Otto Peter Bemberg’s family, Quilvest has more than US$6bn under management and its private equity division was founded in 1972 with Michel Abouchalache as the current chief executive of this unit.

Although it has provided venture capital to firms including Frontiers and ARM, Quilvest was part of a consortium that took majority control of EWT, a medium-sized German TV cable operator, in December.

Debt for the transaction was provided by Barclays. Advisers included: Close Brothers (corporate finance), Ernst & Young (accounting due diligence), Deloitte (market due diligence); for Bridgepoint – Eversheds (legal); for Quilvest & Shoaibi Group – SJ Berwin (legal); for Barclays – DLA (legal).