TA Associates buys and sells

TA Associates, the US$10bn Menlo Park, Boston and London-based private equity house has sold its stake in Drive Assist UK to Charterhouse Capital Partners. As a result of the US$500m sale, TA realised a return of 3.2x on its investment. TA invested in the firm, which provides replacement vehicles, in 2003. Under the ownership of Charterhouse Capital Partners the management team continue to be significant shareholders and will run the business. TA Associates opened its London office in 2003 and is continuing to expand its investment efforts in Europe.

Recently, Commerzbank reached an agreement with the management of Jupiter – its UK asset management subsidiary, for an MBO supported by TA Associates to the tune of over €1bn. The buyout will be completed by July 2007 and 50% of the company will belong to TA Associates while the other 50% will belong to Jupiter’s management.

Edward Bonham Carter, Jupiter’s joint group chief executive, said: “Senior management has committed significant personal assets to take joint ownership of the business with TA, with employees also participating in equity ownership.” The partnership couldn’t be more suited as this marks TA Associates’ 10th investment in the global asset management sector.

The sale will allow Commerzbank to focus its asset management business on its core market in Germany and lead to an extraordinary capital gain for the bank in the region of £300m. Ajit Nedungadi, managing director and head of TA Associates’ London office said: “Jupiter is a powerful brand in the UK fund management industry, driven by an impressive record of investment performance and growth. The investment fits very well with TA’s focus on growth businesses in targeted industries in the UK and on the Continent.”