Private equity group Bridgepoint set for £2bn London listing

Firm that has backed Itsu and Burger King’s UK arm is planning to raise £300m in float

Last modified on Tue 29 Jun 2021 06.36 EDT

Bridgepoint, the private equity group behind restaurant group Itsu, online cycling specialist Wiggle and the UK arm of Burger King, is planning to raise £300m with a stock market flotation in London.

The listing, expected to value Bridgepoint at up to £2bn in total, comes amid a surge in private equity deals partly prompted by a fall in asset values during the Covid-19 pandemic. Low interest rates have also led investors to pump money into private equity in search of better returns.

In the UK, supermarket Asda has recently been snapped up in a £6.8bn deal backed by private equity group TDR Capital while its rival Morrisons is expected to be at the centre of a bidding battle between private equity groups after the supermarket’s management rejected an initial £5.5bn offer from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

Bridgepoint recently bought a stake in Itsu, the Asian food chain created by Julian Metcalfe, having previously backed him during the expansion of sandwich chain Pret a Manger.

The firm, which focuses on mid-sized deals of up to €1bn, was formed in 2000 after a management buyout of NatWest’s private equity arm.

The company manages €27.4bn of assets across a range of private equity and debt funds in Europe, North America and Asia with total operating income of £192m in 2020.

William Jackson, executive chairman of Bridgepoint, said: “Over the last 30 years we’ve built the global leader in middle market growth investing, with strength and depth across two very complementary strategies in private equity and private credit.”

He added: “We expect this strong growth to continue in the near and longer term as we continue to develop our existing strategies and further broaden our platform.”

The anticipated £2bn listing for Bridgepoint comes after a busy season for consumer-based listings in London as a string of companies that have benefited from the pandemic have come to market.

Takeaway business Deliveroo, furniture seller Made.com, online greetings card and gifts specialist Moonpig.com and secondhand music and gadgets trader MusicMagpie have all listed this year.

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