PSP backs BC Partners’ Allflex

The Canadian pension fund has acquired a minority stake in the animal tag-maker from BC Partners, which is currently raising Fund X.

The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), one of Canada’s largest pension funds with around C$112 billion ($87 billion; €78 billion) in assets under management, has acquired a “significant” minority interest in Allflex Group, according to a statement.

The pension fund has acquired the stake from BC Partners, which remains the controlling shareholder. It is understood that the value of the minority stake implies a 2x valuation for the whole business.

BC Partners acquired Allflex in 2009 in a deal valuing the company at more than $1.3 billion and delivering a 15x return for previous owners Electra Partners. BC acquired the business using capital from BC European Capital IX, which closed on $6.68 billion in 2011.

Allflex designs, produces and distributes identification and tracking technology for livestock, pets and fish, including radio frequency identification and visual ear tags, tissue sampling devices, monitoring devices, milk meters and other farm management equipment. The company operates in more than 60 countries, employing more than 1,700 worldwide.

In 2015 Allflex acquired Israel-headquartered SCR, a livestock monitoring technology providers, for $250 million, and Sureflap, which specialises in monitoring devices for pets.

BC Partners will be keen to return capital to investors as it continues to seek commitments to its tenth buyout fund, which is currently in market seeking €7 billion, as reported by Private Equity International.

In February US pet products retailer PetSmart distributed $800 million to its equity holders, which include BC Partners. The distribution came from cash generation within the business, PEI reported at the time.

BCEC IX had generated an internal rate of return of 3.92 percent for CalSTRS as of September 2015 since inception, according to the pension fund’s last published private equity fund performance figures.

According to data from advisory firm PEFOX, BCEC IX is top of a list of funds attracting the highest premiums bids on the secondaries market, receiving bids at as much as 10 percent above its 31 December net asset value, as reported by PEI sister title Secondaries Investor.