Colin Buffin, head of London-listed buyout firm
“Realisations will be much more difficult to achieve now that the debt market has dried up and prices may come down” says Buffin. As a result, greater emphasis will be placed on exiting on the public markets, while trade buyers will provide greater competition in M&A deals.
Candover’s share of the £443.8m of proceeds was £51.6m. A further £519m of proceeds have been agreed since the period end, of which Candover’s share is £78.7m. This comprises the partial realisations from
In January of this year, Candover,
In April, Candover sold approximately 76% of its shareholding in pipe manufacturer
Full realisations achieved or announced in the period were
The sales of Thule and Bureau van Dijk, due to complete later this year, will generate proceeds of £293.7m and £152.8m respectively.
The May refinancing of
Investments in the period included
Candover’s net assets per share increased by 34.7% over the year, and up 23% in the last six months, to 1848p on 30th June 2007, compared to the FTSE All-Share Index, which rose by 14.7% and 5.7% over the corresponding time periods. In addition the firm reported interim profits before tax of £10.6m, up from £10.1m last year, and an interim dividend increase of 11.1% to 20p.
Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Candover Investments, focused on the firm’s positive results but echoed Buffin’s concerns for the future: “Candover’s impressive net asset increase during 2007 to date has been driven in part by a number of significant realisations from the maturing 2001 Fund portfolio. Looking forward, however, it is unlikely that the pace of realisations will continue in the short to medium term, as the currently volatility in the banking markets makes transactions more difficult to accomplish. But provided we can find suitable opportunities, this could be a good period for investing if lower pricing benefits can be achieved.”