Candover profits up by £3m

Candover has increased 2001 pre-tax profits to £14m and announced plans to close the Candover 2001 fund in June.

Candover Investments has published its results for the year to 31 December 2001 which show an increase in pre-tax profits of nearly £3m to just over £14m on the results for 2000. Net assets per share increased by 4.4 per cent on 2000 to 1,127 pence.

Candover’s most significant investment during the year was the E920m buyout of Picard, a leading French frozen food retailer, which originated from the Candover 1997 fund. Realisations during the year included Claverham, the defence and aerospace business Shepperton Studios, the film and television studio facilities company.

Since the year end, Candover has led the buyout of Swissport, a global ground handling business acquired from Swissair Group. The investment was the first made by the Candover 2001 Fund, which contributed E183m in equity finance to the E393m deal. The fund completed a first closing in June 2001 at E1.1bn and has closed commitments to date of E1.8bn, including Candover's own commitment of E300m, which Candover chairman Stephen Curran said was in keeping with the company’s investment strategy in previous funds. A further closing is expected in March, with final closing pencilled in for June 2002.

“Fundraising has been as successful as can be expected, given the current economic climate,” commented Stephen Curran. “We are still hopeful of achieving our E2.5bn target. Prospects for the Candover 2001 Fund look promising as the more uncertain climate leads to more realistic pricing of investment proposals.”