- Private equity firm Bridgepoint made its debut with a bang on LSE, shares moved over 29 percent on the very first day.
- At the initial launch price of GBX 350, the shares had a market capitalisation of £2.88 billion.
Private equity firm Bridgepoint Group Plc (LON: BPT) shares on the first day of trading surged over 29 per cent and ended at GBX 452.00. On Wednesday morning, the shares made a debut higher than the initial GBX 350 price set for the IPO.
Bridgepoint Group launched its initial public offering (IPO) at an offer price of GBX 350, based on that the shares had a market capitalisation of £2.88 billion. The private equity firm focuses on medium-scale deals of up to 1 billion euros. A management buyout of NatWest's private equity wing led to the forming of Bridgepoint in 2000.
Bridgepoint is the third private equity firm to have a market launch, the others being Intermediate Capital Group and 3i Group. The IPO comes at a time when private equity firms are spending huge money on assets in UK and beyond because they have a lot of cash in the kitty after the pandemic forced them for limited business.
Dyal Capital Partners, Bridgepoint’s biggest shareholder, sold shares worth £109 million. It holds a stake worth £600 million. Dyal had invested £328 million in Bridgepoint in 2018 and has since then doubled its investment.
The biggest individual investor in the IPO was Frederic Pescatori, Head of France and Southern Europe. He sold about £16.5 million stock and continues to have a 2.3 per cent stake worth £85 million, according to Bloomberg calculations. Chairman William Jackson retained a 1.1 per cent stake and cashed out about £8 million. T. Rowe Price Group Inc, Mawer Investment Management, and Fidelity International bought £300 million as cornerstone investors, making gains over £85 million and the end of day one trading.
Marks & Spencer to Bridgepoint
Several private equity companies are planning on IPOs apart from Bridgepoint. Antin Infrastructure Partners is weighing a listing, while TPG could opt for a merger with a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) for a potential IPO. Closely held firms are struggling to figure out how to provide exits for managers and founders as well as ensuring that new entrants could monetise their stakes.
Bridgepoint is also trying to rope in eminent names from the corporate world to its board. Archie Norman, chairman Marks & Spencer, is reported to have got a £1.75 million fee to become a part of the new-floated firm’s board. The amount Norman received was an initial fee and he had to use proceeds after tax to procure the firm’s shares worth £1.24 million. His annual remuneration would be £200,000 for the role.