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Bridgepoint banks £100m on Pets refinancing

Bridgepoint, a European mid-market private equity firm, has returned over £200m to shareholders in a week through the refinancings of specialist pet product retailer Pets at Home and self-storage business Safestore.

Bridgepoint, a European buyout group, will return £100 million (€147 million) to shareholders following a £288 million refinancing of Pets at Home, a UK specialist pet product retailer.
 
Shareholders include investors in Bridgepoint Europe II, which closed on €2 billion in 2000, Pets at Home management and staff.
 
Earlier this week, Bridgepoint returned £101 million through a £273 million refinancing of Safestore, a self-storage facility operator. Bridgepoint backed the company, another Bridgepoint Europe II investment, in a £39.8 million public-to-private transaction in September 2003.
 
BNP Paribas and Royal Bank of Scotland acted as joint mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners for the £288 million of new debt facilities for Pets at Home. Travers Smith and KPMG advised Bridgepoint.
 
Bridgepoint already returned £70 million and repaid a £20 million mezzanine tranche in an initial refinancing of Pets at Home in May 2005, when BNP Paribas and RBS underwrote £189 million of debt facilities, including £167 million of senior debt.
 
The first refinancing took place just 10 months after Bridgepoint backed a £230 million buyout of Pets at Home in July 2004.
 
Established in 1991, Pets at Home is the number one specialist retailer for pet foods and related products in the UK. Last week, the company announced revenues of £276.9 million and EBITDA of £40.7 million for the year ended 31 March 2006.
 
Pets at Home opened 11 new stores in the last financial year and plans to launch another 18 over the next 12 months. The company currently has 177 stores, largely located in retail parks.
 
According to Bridgepoint, the UK market for pet products is estimated to be worth £2.1 billion annually.