Bridgepoint books 2.6x on technology business

The exit comes as Bridgepoint prepares to raise €4bn for its next fund

UK-based Bridgepoint has agreed to sell SPTS Technologies Group to Orbotech, an Israel-based technology business.

Bridgepoint will sell the business for $370 million in cash, according to a statement. The exit will generate a 2.6x return and a 35 percent internal rate of return, according to a source close to the matter.

Bridgepoint declined to comment.

Pan-European group Bridgepoint acquired SPTS, a UK-based global manufacturer of processing equipment for the microelectronic industry, in June 2011. It invested in the business using capital from its current fund, Bridgepoint Europe Fund IV, a €4.84 billion vehicle that closed in 2008.

The business’ largest and fastest-growing markets are advanced microchip packaging. and the manufacturing of mechanical sensors used in smartphones, tablet computers, and game consoles. The company operates in 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, with manufacturing facilities in Wales, Pennsylvania and California.

Bridgepoint said that under its ownership, the business has broadened its focus to advanced packaging – a technology that allows multiple chips to be stacked and connected, thereby improving performance and reducing production costs.

Following this divestment, cash distributions from Bridgepoint Fund IV will stand at €1.1 billion for this year, according to the source. The fund is understood to have returned €1.8 billion to date.

Bridgepoint will be keen to return capital to investors as it is currently preparing to raise €4 billion for its successor fund. The vehicle is expected to come to market in the second half of the year, according to the source. Fund IV, which invests in businesses with enterprise values between €150 million and € 1 billion, is currently about 80 percent invested.