Lloyds exits Squaregain

Middle market private equity provider Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) has sold its shareholding in Squaregain to French online retail broker Boursorama for £51.2m. Squaregain operated formerly as comdirect, one of the UK’s largest execution-only share brokers.

LDC, alongside Numis Corporation, backed the original €16.5m institutional buyout of Squaregain from comdirect bank in July 2004, investing £6.8m for a 37.9% shareholding.

As part of the latest deal, which has been approved by the UK’s Financial Services Authority, LDC has sold its shareholding for £21m. This generated an IRR of 228% and a capital gain of more than £14m.

Launched in June 2000, Squaregain has continued to grow over the last 12 months, securing a series of major contracts with financial institutions for its trading execution services. It has also significantly increased its retail customer base. John Glendinning, chief executive of comdirect, said that there were further opportunities in the UK in both the direct retail and B2B markets.

“Squaregain has been an excellent investment for LDC. We have worked closely with the management team to add significant value to the business during the last 12 months,” said Andy Ball, the director who led the original investment for LDC.