Bridgepoint, owner of Private Debt Investor publisher PEI Media, plans to the join the ranks of private markets’ listed elite.
The London-headquartered firm said on Tuesday it intends to raise £300 million ($415 million; €349 million) by issuing new shares on the London Stock Exchange. Existing shareholders also plan to sell a portion of equity worth about £200 million, the Financial Times reported.
Capital will be used to “support Bridgepoint’s growth plans, provide greater strategic flexibility, enhance Bridgepoint’s standing as a trusted counterparty, further drive long-term shareholder returns and repay indebtedness”, according to its IPO documents.
Bridgepoint – the 10th largest private equity firm in Europe according to the PEI 300 – will join a small number of publicly traded peers in the region, including EQT, which listed in Stockholm in 2019; Switzerland’s Partners Group; 3i in London and France’s Eurazeo.
Here are some key takeaways from the listing document.
Fundraising: The firm is expected to launch new Bridgepoint Europe and Bridgepoint Growth funds in the near-term. It raised €5.8 billion for the 2017-vintage Bridgepoint Europe VI and £105 million for its debut growth fund, also a 2017-vintage, according to PEI data. Bridgepoint also sees an opportunity to launch sector-focused products alongside its flagship offerings, the documents noted.
Platform extensions: Bridgepoint will consider recreating its acquisition of EQT’s credit arm last year to form a third core product strategy alongside private debt and private equity. Real estate, including real estate debt, or infrastructure hold “obvious attractions” and it may also consider segments where its existing reputation and operating platform would help an acquisition to scale more quickly.
Investor base: Bridgepoint had approximately €27.4 billion of total assets under management as of 31 March, held across six investment strategies. Capital was provided by more than 300 institutional investors, including 13 of the 20 largest US state pensions. The average relationship length is 14 years and the firm says its LPs have a track record of backing multiple products, with 41 of them having invested a total of €13 billion in more than one strategy.
Leadership: If the IPO happens, Bridgepoint’s board will consist of two executive directors and four non-executive directors, of which three have been appointed to-date and a fourth will join prior to IPO. Chief executive and chairman William Jackson will serve as executive chairman, while partner and group chief operating officer Adam Jones will be chief financial officer.