Doughty nets 2.5x on Eurofiber sale

The exit comes a month after the European firm decided to stop fundraising for its sixth buyout fund

Doughty Hanson has agreed to sell its stake in Netherlands-based fibre optic network Eurofiber to Antin Infrastructure Partners for €875 million, according to a statement from the firm.

The sale will generate a return of 2.5x and a gross internal rate of return of 35 percent for Doughty Hanson’s fifth fund.

Doughty Hanson & Co V, a €3 billion 2007-vintage, acquired a 64.4 percent stake in Eurofiber in May 2012 from Dutch investment company Reggeborgh, which retained a substantial minority stake as part of the transaction.

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Maarssen in the Netherlands, Eurofiber owns and operates a fibre network spanning more than 18,000 km and connecting more than 10,000 locations, allowing telecom providers, system integrators and service providers to deliver their services to end users through this network.

Under Doughty Hanson’s ownership, Eurofiber has increased its market share, particularly in the area of unused optical fibre. In 2013, the company completed two add-on acquisitions in the Netherlands, expanding its network by more than 1,000km.

This is the fifth exit from Fund V, and there are three assets remaining in the portfolio: Amsterdam-headquartered corporate compliance outsourcing company TMF; ASCO, an Aberdeen-headquartered company providing outsourced logistics services and solutions to the oil and gas industry; and LM Wind Power, a supplier of wind turbine blades and services to the wind industry.

So far 117 percent of invested capital has been returned to Fund V investors, Doughty Hanson said.

Fund V currently has a gross realised multiple of 2x and a gross realised IRR of 18 percent, according to Doughty Hanson.

Last month Doughty Hanson said it had stopped fundraising for its Fund VI, for which it had been attempting to collect €2 billion. The fund had been in market since October 2013 but had been unable to reach a first close.

“As a result of the continuing uncertainty for both employees and investors regarding the fund raising process, the decision has been taken by the board of Doughty Hanson to no longer pursue its current fund raising efforts” the firm said in a statement at the time.

Instead, Doughty said it would concentrate on maximising the value of its remaining portfolio companies in Funds IV and V, PEI reported earlier.