Birch Hill returns $295m to LPs

The Canadian mid-market firm exited four companies in 2013. 

Birch Hill Equity Partners returned more than $295 million to limited partners last year, according to a statement.

The realisations were driven by Birch Hill’s sale of home construction company Carmanah Design and Manufacturing, children’s entertainment company DHX Media and Constellation Software. The three exits generated a return multiple of 5.2x and an average internal rate of return of 23 percent.

Birch Hill also sold a 50 percent stake in oil and gas services company Secunda Canada to Norwegian-based Siem Offshore for about C$16 million (€12 million; $16 million), Private Equity International reported.

The exits brought Birch Hill’s total gross realisations since inception to more than $3 billion. In 2012, the firm exited three portfolio companies, PEI reported.

Birch Hill made one investment last year, taking technology service provider Softchoice private for C$412 million in April, PEI reported. The firm also made two add-on acquisitions.

Birch Hill invests in Canadian mid-market companies in a variety of industries, but does not invest in real estate and pure commodities, according to its website. Each company typically has an enterprise value of between $30 million and $600 million.

The firm’s most recent fund, Birch Hill Equity Partners Fund IV, raised C$1.04 billion on a C$850 million target, in 2011. Fund IV received commitments from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

Birch Hill was founded in 2005 by partners Stephen Dent and John MacIntrye as a spin-out from the mid-market private equity group within TD Capital.