Candover Investments, the publicly quoted unit of the UK private equity firm, has achieved strong results in 2002, reporting a 6.3 per cent increase in annual profits. The PLC achieved profits of £15.3m, up from £14.4m in the previous year, the result of a number of successful exits for the firm.
In total, the firm achieved six realisations in the twelve month period, including the flotations of UK-based IT business Detica and clinical research services company Inveresk. Candover’s four remaining exits were PII, a gas pipeline inspection services firm sold to GE Power Systems, Regional Independent Media, sold to Johnston Press for E915m, and Diamant Boart, sold to Electrolux for E185m. The firm also exited its interest in car finance business SPA, selling it to was sold to Provident Financial in December.
Despite the realisations, Candover's net asset value per share decreased by 7.7 per cent during the year, although the FTSE-All-Share Index fell by 25 per cent during the same period. Stephen Curran, chairman of Candover described the reduction in NAV was inevitable: “The valuation of our investee companies is principally related to comparable listed multiples and, with the continued decline in the financial markets during 2002 and 2003 to date, a decrease in the value of our net assets has been unavoidable.”
In total, Candover invested £25.8m in two new transactions and four follow-on investments during the year. The firms' 2001 Fund invested £128.5m alongside Candover in these new transactions. Additionally, Candover has committed to invest £30.8m in the E1.9bn acquisition of Gala Group, a leading UK retail gaming company, and the 2001 Fund has committed to invest £241.3m.
The firm also announced a final dividend of 36 pence per share, up from 32 pence last year.