Rutland cashes in on H&T Group

Rutland Partners, the UK private equity partnership, has announced that its fund had realised its investment in UK pawnbroker H&T Group through an AIM listing. The enterprise value of H&T on flotation is £91.9m (US$171m) and the market capitalisation is £54.2m (US$101m).

Rutland has realised its entire investment in less than two years with proceeds of £44.5m in cash, representing a multiple of 2.9x the fund’s original investment and an IRR of 89%.

H&T has 69 outlets across the UK, where it has a pledge book of £24.6m. It reported earnings before interest, tax and amortisation of £6.7m in 2005.

Rutland acquired H&T in September 2004 from Cash America International on a debt-free/cash-free basis for £49m, of which £15.4m was provided from the fund and the balance through a debt package from Barclays.

The IPO of H&T is the fourth full realisation by the Rutland Fund, the previous three being the successful sales of Edinburgh Woollen Mill in November 2002, Interfloor Group in August 2005 and Carron Energy in April 2006.