In brief mid-market

Electra Partners Europe acquired Covenant Healthcare, a key player in the cosmetic surgery, psychiatric and acute care markets, for £170m. Covenant includes Transform, the UK cosmetic surgery company; Abbey, which operates six acute care hospitals; and Churchill, which provides secure psychiatric services. Electra sees opportunities for value creation at Transform because less than 1% of the UK population has had cosmetic surgery, lagging levels in the US and Continental Europe. The company currently undertakes more than 15,000 surgical and non-surgical procedures per year. Electra Partners had €2bn under management as of December 31 2004. Its investments in the healthcare sector include Ashbourne, a care home operator, which was sold to Bank of Scotland Corporate in February.

  • Reiten & Co, a Norwegian mid-market private equity investor, completed a €167m recapitalisation of Heimstaden, the real estate management and investment company. The refinancing, which was completed 14 months after Reiten’s investment, generated a dividend payment of €22m to the Reiten Funds, representing 72% of the total equity investment in Heimstaden.

Reiten retains its 56% equity stake in the company, which owns and manages 78 residential properties representing more than 2,300 apartments. Under Reiten’s ownership, Heimstaden’s strategy has been refined and its real estate portfolio has been streamlined and restructured with the disposal of non-core assets and the addition of five portfolios of residential assets. Reiten has €50m in assets under management by eight investment professionals.

  • Bridgepoint sold its 85% shareholding in Erftcarbon, the German producer of granite and carbon products, to Japanese-based Tokai Carbon. The sale and purchase agreement was signed on April 18 in Duesseldorf. Bridgepoint acquired Erftcarbon as a spin-off from VAW Group in September 1998. Last year, the company generated revenues of €83m. Tokai, a manufacturer of graphite electrodes, is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange and generated revenues of approximately €480m in 2004. This exit follows Bridgepoint’s other realisations, including the flotation of Carter & Carter, which provides outsourced support services to motor brands, and the sale of its stake in Shearings after the merger with 3i-backed Wallace Arnold, the coach operator. Bridgepoint returned more than €700m to investors last year and has returned over €3bn since 2000.
  • 3i is acquiring Carema Vard och Omsorg, a Nordic healthcare services company providing elderly, primary and specialist care as well as nursing homes and care for the disabled. The firm is buying the company from 65 institutions and private individuals, of which Norwegian Orkla is the largest.