More good news for Bridgepoint

Bridgepoint continues to reap in the profits with two more realisations the sale of Golden Wonder to Longulf, and the partial exit of Adams Childrenswear, following a recapitalisation of the company.

The transaction value of the Golden Wonder sale has not been disclosed, but Bridgepoint is said to have made a healthy return on its original investment.

Bridgepoint acquired Golden Wonder in July 2000 in a secondary buyout from Legal & General Ventures for GBP156.5 million. Legal & General Ventures was the lead investor in the original buyout of the crisps and snacks business from Dalgety in October 1995. Bridgepoint was also a syndicate partner in the original buyout.

Adams Childrenswear has provided a partial realisation for Bridgepoint as Lloyd TSB has taken a 15 per cent stake in the business, in a recapitalisation valued at GBP120 million. Bridgepoint originally backed the group in 1999 in a GBP87 million buyout.

Lloyds TSB Development Capital is investing GBP15 million in the business and a syndicate of banks, led by Barclays Leveraged Finance Midlands and Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Structured Finance, is providing a GBP77.5 million package of senior debt and working capital facilities.

Bridgepoint remains the major institutional shareholder, despite having an element of investment repaid. The senior management team, led by chief executive Michael Hobbs, also retains a significant equity stake in the business.

Hobbs commented: “Adams has performed exceptionally well since the MBO, with both turnover and profits enjoying significant growth. The recapitalisation puts the business in an excellent position to meet our ambitious growth targets over the next three years.”

Adams plans to open 40 new stores by 2004 and will provide the childrenswear solution for Boots from next January. The additional funding will enable the group to invest in new stores, staff and infrastructure and to develop new UK and international partnerships.