UK mid-market private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital has sold Walters Hexagon, the UK-based fastener supply business to US group Anixter International and in so doing has announced that it has returned over E200m in cash back to its limited partners in 2003.
The sale price of £24.7m, plus a deferred consideration of £1m, represented a “healthy” return, according to a Bridgepoint spokesperson, although money multiples and IRR have not been disclosed. Walters Hexagon, previously part of conglomerate Tomkins plc, was originally acquired by Bridgepoint in 1998 in a £17m management buyout. It operates out of nine branches in the UK and employs over 270 people.
Turnover for the year ended 31 December 2002 was £36.1m. In September 2000 it acquired Heyco, a distributor of components for the electronics sector, and in 2002 established its first branch in France. There are plans to open in Italy in the near future.
The sale is the latest in a number of exits for Bridgepoint Capital in 2003, something the firm has been keen to highlight at a time when investors in private equity funds have been complaining about the absence of such cash distributions.