Bridgepoint sells Molton Brown

Bridgepoint has sold Molton Brown, the UK bath & body care, skin and hair care retailer, to Kao Corporation of Japan in a £170m deal, earning the firm around £100m.

Bridgepoint first got involved in the company in 1994 when it paid under £1m for a minority stake. Nine years later it invested £28m and took a majority interest. The investments were made through Bridgepoint Private Equity Growth Fund and Bridgepoint Europe II.Molton Brown was founded in 1973 and has 37 outlets in the UK, Europe and Asia. In the 2003 buyout the business was valued at £76m, with turnover to March 31 standing at £45m.