Candover makes 2.3x return on Bureau sale

Candover has sold electronic publisher Bureau van Dijk to BC Partners, in a deal that will generate an IRR of 35 percent for the UK-based buyout firm.

Candover has tripled its money with the sale of electronic publisher Bureau van Dijk to rival buyout firm BC Partners.

Terms were not disclosed, but a source close to the deal said it valued the business at about €720 million ($996 million). Candover said the sale generated a return of 2.3 times their original investment, equivalent to an internal rate of return of about 35 percent.

The buyout firm bought the business in November 2004. It invested €130 million equity in the original €370 million deal, suggesting that its total proceeds from today’s sale and last year’s refinancing of the business amounted to about €300 million.

Bureau von Dijk supplies electronic information about businesses, including ownership structures, shareholdings, corporate activities and news, to corporate and government clients. Under Candover’s ownership the business has been increasing its product range and expanding out of its western European base, developing its sales in Asia, North America and Eastern Europe. It now employs nearly 400 people across 25 offices, up from about 200 people in 11 offices in 2004.

The deal is expected to complete in October, subject to regulatory approval. Goldman Sachs and boutique Jefferies LongAcre advised Candover.

It is another successful exit multiple for Candover, which made a four times cash return from the flotation of Wellstream on the London Stock Exchange in April, and a 2.5 times return from the sale of Thule in May. With the sale of remaining susbidiary Aibel in July, it also recorded a 4.1 times return on its investment in Vetco Group. The firm now has just five of its 2001 vintage fund.

The acquisition of Bureau van Dijk represents another secondary buyout for BC Partners, which this year completed the largest such deal on record – it bought satellite operator Intelsat for €16 billion from a consortium that included Apax Partners, Permira, Apollo Management and Madison Dearborn.