News in Brief

Double exit for Gresham

Gresham has made two exits this month in the shape of Blue Group International, a UK recruitment company, to HCL for €17.8m and generating a 2.6x return; and Individual Restaurant Company, a premium restaurant chain, which was acquired by Bank Restaurant Group, for almost €60m, earning a 2.3x return.

3i sells SBL stake

3i and Nordic VC SEB Foretagsinvest have sold their stakes in SBL Vaccines, a Swedish vaccine distributor, to Crucell, a Dutch biotech company listed on NASDAQ. The sale price is €39.4m. 3i Nordic, 3i Eurofund IV and SEB Foretagsinvest all invested in May 2004.

BUPA acquires home help

Lyceum Capital, a UK mid-market house that specializes in service businesses, has sold Clinovia, a UK home healthcare services provider, to BUPA for €130m. Lyceum acquired Clinovia from LVL Holding of France in a €47.5m deal in August 2003, and since then provided the company with the capital needed to make five acquisitions.

Financial racqueteering

Duke Street has sold Esporta, a UK premium racquets and country club operator, to the Halabi family trust for an undisclosed sum. The sale was made following an auction process launched when a number of unsolicited offers were made over the summer. Duke Street acquired Esporta plc in a take private deal in July 2002.

Green light for Baird

Baird Capital Partners Europe has sold Traffic Support, a UK traffic warden provider, to Mouchel Parkman, a support services company, for almost €32m. Added to a €7.1m pre-completion cash withdrawal, this gives a 3.5x return on Baird’s investment. Baird first invested in 2000.