Nova exits UK advertising recruitment agency

This is the second exit in as many weeks for the private equity firm, following the sale of modelling agency Models 1 to OpenGate Capital earlier this month.

Nova Capital Management has sold its stake in aia, a UK-based recruitment advertising agency, to a subsidiary of TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, based in New York. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

aia has offices in London and Birmingham and counts John Lewis, Virgin Atlantic, Sainsbury’s and Toyota among its clients.

This is the second exit transaction for Nova in 2009, following the sale of UK modelling agency Models 1 in early January to OpenGate Capital.

Both aia and Models 1 received investment from Nova’s third private equity fund, which has been under management since 2004, bringing the number of firms exited from this fund to seven. The firm declined to confirm the fund size.

Nova has been on an exit spree since 2006, reaching 13 exits in 12 months by July 2007 and achieving and a number of returns in 2008. It exited Stone Group, an information technology supplier for schools, in a £28 million (€35 million; $45 million) secondary buy-out, in April last year; In July Nova sold nCode International, a software company HBM, for £17.5 million; This was followed by the sale of Afora SA, a Spanish distributor of laboratory equipment, to Thermo Fisher Scientific for an undisclosed sum; In September it sold QSA Global Inc, the largest member of the QSA Group, to Illinois Tools Works for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2002, Nova has completed portfolio transactions with a total value of more than $880 million.