Exits – EIT realisation programme continues

Electra Investment Trust’s realisation programme, set in train last year as part of Electra Partners Europe’s successful defence against a hostile bid from 3i, took further steps forward in April.

United Surgical Partners of the US acquired UK private hospital group Aspen Healthcare from Electra for an undisclosed sum. Electra led a GBP32 million ($50.5 million) buyout of Aspen from Paracelsus Kliniken Deutschland in March 1998. In the year following the buyout Aspen, which owns two private hospitals in the London suburbs, acquired a large property close to its existing Wimbledon hospital with the intention of developing it into a private cancer treatment centre.

As a result of the sale to United Surgical Partners, EIT received cash proceeds of GBP11.7 million. Aspen had already repaid GBP6.7 million to EIT in April 1999. EIT has therefore received total proceeds of GBP18.4 million for its holding in Aspen, which was acquired at a cost of

GBP10.2 million, representing a transaction IRR over two years of approximately 45 per cent.

EIT has also disposed of its 21.5 per cent stake in HMY, the French shelving and shopfitting group. EIT invested FFr 45 million (7 million) in the 1996 buyout of Hermes Metal, which changed its name to HMY two years later following the acquisition of Yudigar. Sale of the HMY holding resulted in cash proceeds of FFr318 million, a multiple of seven times cost over slightly less than four years. Proceeds from both the Aspen and HMY disposals will be used to reduce bank borrowings.

Meanwhile, as a result of the Chase Manhattan Corporation’s recommended offer for Robert Fleming Holdings, EIT stands to receive GBP30.2 million for its stake in Flemings, compared with the GBP10.4 million carrying valuation of the holding.