Deal round up 22/11/02

3i backs Canvas Holidays MBO; HgCapital makes second Acuid investment; Two deals for Aberdeen Murray Johnstone

3i backs Canvas Holidays MBO


Canvas Holidays, a UK-based camping and mobile home tour operators, is to expand its operations following a financing package from 3i. The UK venture capital firm is backing existing management in a deal worth £25m to buy Canvas from current owner Andrew Salvesen and has committed capital to the company’s growth. The Dunfermline-based business sells holidays on over 100 campsites across eight European countries, to holidaymakers from the UK, Holland, Ireland, Denmark and Germany. Canvas has reported increased turnover from £8m to £16m in the last three years.


3i has brought in former chairman and chief executive of Thomas Cook, Bernard Norman, as non-executive chairman. Debt was provided by Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking. KPMG Corporate Finance and Maclay Murray & Spens advised 3i. Dickson Minto and Brewin Dolphin advised Andrew Salvesen and the management team.


HgCapital makes second Acuid investment


HgCapital, the UK and Germany-based venture capital firm, has made a second investment in Acuid, an intellectual property and chip technology company based in Scotland and the US. The second round of investment, worth £5m, adds to a £5.7m investment made in May 2001.


Acuid is developing hardware that will speed up the processing time of personal computers and games consoles, both of which are currently limited by the speed at which data can be transferred between processors. It is aiming to expand its activity from research and development into production and will eventually license its technology to processor manufacturers. The latest round of investment is intended to finance the company until early 2004.


Two deals for Aberdeen Murray Johnstone


Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity (AMPJE) has completed a successful exit on its investment in Sureclean, an industrial cleaning and environmental waste management services business.


The firm sold its 35 per cent holding in Sureclean to Umax Group, a Scottish-based welding company. AMPJE received in excess of £1m for its stake, a mark-up of over £400,000 on the original investment made in 1998.


AMPJE has also participated in a £7.5m funding package for PDG Helicopters, a UK-based operator of a 19-strong helicopter fleet. AMPJE invested £2.5m in the round giving the firm an additional 20 per cent stake to the 27 per cent it acquired in 1999.


PDG was formed in 1995 with the merger of PLM Helicopters and Dollar Air Services. The business, which provides a range of services including construction, filming, corporate and passenger charters, employs 80 staff and operates from bases at Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Kintore, Cumbernauld and Dublin.