Rutland floats H&T Group for £92m

Following the recent sale of power station owner Carron Energy, UK private equity firm Rutland Partners has made 3x its money with the flotation of pawnbroker H&T Group.

Lower mid-market turnaround specialist Rutland Partners has realised its investment in UK pawnbroker H&T Group through an admission on AIM.

London-based Rutland Partners said H&T Group has floated with an enterprise value of £91.9 million (€134 million; $171 million) and with a market capitalisation of £54.2 million.

Advising on the flotation were Hawkpoint; Numis; Eversheds; Deloitte; Taylor Wessing; and Norton Rose.

H&T Group was acquired by Rutland Partners from Cash America International in September 2004 for £49 million, of which £15.4 million was provided from The Rutland Fund, with the balance coming from a debt package provided by Barclays.

According to Rutland Partners, H&T Group’s management team was restructured following the acquisition, along with the development of new products and the roll-out of new stores.

Rutland Partners said that, after costs and management’s equity, it had received proceeds of £44.5 million, representing a multiple of 2.9x its original investment and an IRR of 89 percent.

The Rutland Fund, which closed in March 2001 with £210 million of commitments, is currently approximately two thirds invested, according to the firm.

The vehicle has made investments in seven businesses, including UK carpet underlay company Intefloor Group, which was sold in a £84 million European Acquisition Capital-backed MBO in August 2005; clothing retailer Edinburgh Wollen Mill, which was sold to chief executive Philip Day for £67.5 million in November 2002; and power station owner Carron Energy, sold to a Deutsche Bank-backed company for £125 million in April 2006.