Bridgepoint, a European mid-market private equity manager, has sold All3Media, a UK television production company, to Permira, Europe’s largest buyout firm, in a deal valuing the business at £320 million (€467 million).
Bridgepoint and All3Media were advised by UBS on the sale. Bridgepoint generated a 5.5 times money multiple on its original 2003 purchase, when the firm acquired the TV division of listed media and music group Chrysalis in a £45 million management buy-in. It renamed the business All3Media.
Permira, which acquired All3Media with its €5.1 billion 2003 Permira III fund, beat off competition from rival private equity firms Apax Partners and DLJ Merchant Banking, the buyout arm of Credit Suisse, in the final round of bidding for the television production company.
According to media reports, Cinven, a European buyout firm, French broadcaster NTL and television production company Endemol, the maker of Big Brother and currently attracting the interest of Apax Partners, were also involved at an earlier stage in the auction process.
Permira III is now “significantly invested” according to a source close to the firm. Permira raised Europe’s largest buyout fund at the beginning of July, holding a ‘dry close’ on its fourth fund with just over €10 billion of commitments.
Established in 2003, All3Media’s broadcast output includes a number of popular UK television programmes including Richard & Judy, Formula One, Hollyoaks and Shameless. The current management team, including Steve Morrison, chief executive, Jules Burns, David Liddiment and John Pfeil, will remain with the company. The management team has reinvested in the business as part of the Permira acquisition.
Under Bridgepoint’s ownership, All3Media has made a number of acquisitions including Lion TV and Company Pictures in 2004 and Mersey TV and Artists Rights Group in 2005. The business currently comprises nine independent production companies in Europe.