BC sells down Com Hem stake

The sale of 25m shares in the Swedish cable TV operator delivers a 2.2x return to BC’s investors.

Buyout house BC Partners has sold down its stake in Swedish cable TV operator Com Hem, offloading 25 million shares via an accelerated book build.

BC Partners has sold 42 percent of its remaining shareholding in Com Hem at a net price of SKr.91 ($10.24; €9.62) per share, a 60 percent premium to the 2014 IPO price of SKr.58.

The sale represents a return of 2.2x money on invested capital on the shares sold for investors in BC European Capital IX, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan acted as joint book runners on the sale. The book was significantly oversubscribed and fully covered in 15 minutes, it is understood.

BC Partners first invested in Com Hem in 2011 in a transaction valuing the company at SKr.16 billion, according to the firm’s website. It listed the company on Nasdaq Stockholm in 2014 with a market capitalisation of SKr.11.5 billion, according to reports at the time.

Following this latest sale, the third sale of shares by BC Partners since the listing, the €6.7 billion BCEC IX retains around an 18 percent shareholding in Com Hem through investment holding company NorCell.

BC Partners will be keen to return capital to investors as it continues to seek capital for its tenth buyout fund, which is targeting €7 billion.

So far the fund has gathered more than €4 billion, according to PEI data, counting Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana, Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, and Korea Investment Corporation among its investor base.

Last month BC Partners tapped former Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions president and chief executive Alex Ismail for a managing partner position.

Ismail, who will become a member of UK-headquartered BC Partners’ senior investment team and will also sit on the investment committee, will be based in the firm’s New York office.

This followed the appointment of former TowerBrook Capital Partners managing director Axel Meyersiek as a senior partner, as reported by PEI.