Six exits for CBPE since December

Close Brother’s Private Equity, the €1bn, London-based house, sold Macclesfield-based flooring company Gradus for £41m, V. Ships and Park Resorts.

These deals make six disposals from CBPE’s Fund VI since December 2006, following disposals of Minova International, Moody’s and Tractiv. Sean Dinnen, partner of CBPE said: “We are not selling off to launch a new fund. The money will be returned to investors. The vintages that these investments came from were very good and we are taking profits.”

Gradus was acquired by the management team with backing from Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance. CBPE achieved a money multiple of 3.1x on its original investment and an IRR of 28% over its five year investment period. CBPE invested £11m when the company was acquired by in a £30m MBO from the Hedlam Group in 2001. Dinnen, the man that negotiated the original acquisition from the Headlam Group and served as non-executive director of Gradus throughout the period of CBPE’s investment said: “Gradus has been an excellent investment for us. We are delighted that the business has moved into world class manufacturing premises during the period of our ownership.”

CBPE also sold V.Holdings International to Exponent Private Equity, a UK-based house with a €400m fund it is currently investing and management for an undisclosed amount. EVCJ has been told by a CBPE source that this was a significant exit for the group. As part of the deal, CBPE has retained a stake in V. Holdings. V.Holdings comprises of V.Ships, the world’s largest third-party manager of vessels in both the cargo and leisure sector. CBPE backed the MBO of V.Ships with an investment of £30m in March 2003 and have worked with the management team, now led by Donald Anderson, to grow the group organically and by bolt-on acquisition of several complimentary businesses. V.Ships was has approximately 20% marketshare of the global outsourced ship management sector. Global seaborne trade has grown at 3.7% per annum over the last ten years and growth is anticipated to continue.

For more on the Park Resorts exit which returned 9x money to the group see pXX