IRRfc completes Ward realisation

IRRfc has completed the realisation of its investment in UK house builder, Ward Homes, through a trade sale to Wilson Bowden. The acquisition price was £28.6m and the buyer assumes net borrowings of £41.6m to give a deal value of £70.2m. This transaction follows last year’s refinancing of the company by The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Debt Ventures group (see evcj September 2002). The two-stage exit process has produced an IRR of 46% or just under 2.5x money.

Ward Homes was taken private in a £54m takeover in July 2000 that backed by an investment of £8.2m from Phildrew Ventures Fifth Fund. Part of UBS Capital at the time of the original deal, the Phildrew team regained its independence through a buyout, becoming IRRfc in 2002.

Following last year’s deal IRRfc reduced its stake in Ward from around 70% to 22.6%, leaving the company’s management as the majority shareholder.