In brief mid-market

Bridgepoint sold its majority ownership of Lynx Express, one of the UK’s largest independent parcel carriers, to trade buyer UPS. The company has grown substantially since it was the subject of a Bridgepoint-backed £34.3m management buyout in 1997, with sales in 2004 of £170m.

UPS, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services. Nuneaton-based Lynx Express, in addition to its parcel delivery service, offers a suite of logistics and spare parts logistics services through a network and a 3,000-strong workforce. UPS expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2005, subject to customary closing conditions.

  • ABN AMRO Capital has completed its first acquisition in Spain this year with a management buyout of Spanish plumbing materials manufacturer Nueva Terrain. The Vitoria-based company is a manufacturer of tubes and accessories for residential plumbing, heating and drainage systems. It is a top-five player in the Spanish market and has 190 employees in five factories.

ABN AMRO Capital was active in the building materials sector in September 2004 with the £29m MBO of Celotex, a major UK manufacturer of rigid foam insulation board. Since 2001, ABN AMRO Capital has completed four acquisitions and one exit in Spain, last year selling industrial cleaning services company Unica to ISS for €73m.

  • Albin Michel, the French publishing group, acquired handbook publisher De Vecchi, facilitating an exit for private equity shareholder Argos Soditic. Founded in 1962, the De Vecchi group operates in France, Italy, Spain and Mexico, and generated consolidated revenues of approximately €20m in 2004.

The Euroknights funds advised by Argos Soditic make equity investments in medium-sized companies. Previous investments include Du Pareil au Même, Sparco, Roc-Eclerc and Oxbow, which was sold to the Lafuma group.

  • Sovereign Capital Partners, the lower mid-market UK private equity provider, completed the £14m buyout of Lindley Catering, a provider of contract catering to sports stadiums. This is the first investment from Sovereign’s latest fund, which closed in May at £275m.

Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Lindley provides public and executive catering to organisations including 32 football clubs such as Manchester City and Celtic FC.

Led by Alex McCrindle as CEO, Paul Biffen as sales and marketing director and David Hulme as FD, Lindley plans to increase its market share by winning more contracts in both mainstream and niche sports facilities and through acquiring complementary businesses.