Bridgepoint explores restructuring of €4.8bn flagship fund – exclusive

The potential process is the latest in a string of blue chip GPs exploring secondaries processes on their funds.

Bridgepoint, one of the UK’s biggest private equity firms, is exploring a potential restructuring of its 2008-vintage flagship fund in a deal that could be worth more than €1 billion.

The London-headquartered mid-market firm is considering moving assets held in the €4.84 billion Bridgepoint Europe IV into a separate vehicle backed by secondaries capital, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

It is understood that the process, which launched at the end of May, is in the early stages and no decisions about which assets would be moved have been made.

“We are always exploring liquidity opportunities for groups of assets as well as individual investments, but have yet to finalise our thinking,” a spokesman for Bridgepoint told Secondaries Investor. He declined to comment further.

Moelis is advising Bridgepoint on the process, the sources said.

Bridgepoint IV holds eight assets and one partially exited asset including health and social care services provider Care UK, specialist foreign exchange provider Moneycorp and high performance sealing product maker Flexitallic, according to an investment document for the fund presented to the Nebraska Investment Council in March last year.

The firm has run at least four secondaries processes on its funds since 2015. These include two tender offers involving Ardian – one on the firm’s 2008-vintage Bridgepoint IV and the other on its €2.5 billion Bridgepoint III fund, in 2018 and 2016 respectively.

Bridgepoint has also completed at least two direct secondaries deals: a 2018 deal in which Glendower Capital backed the acquisition of a portfolio of mature direct stakes held by Bridgepoint, and a 2016 related transaction in which HarbourVest Partners backed a deal enabling Compass Partners International to manage assets held in Bridgepoint Europe III.

Bridgepoint is the owner of Secondaries Investor‘s parent company PEI Media.

Bridgepoint IV returned a 2.13x net multiple and a gross internal rate of return of 18 percent as of March, according to a source familiar with the fund.

Investors who originally committed to the vehicle include Allianz Capital PartnersSaudi Aramco Retirement Plan and Washington State Investment Board, according to PEI data.

Bridgepoint ranked 23rd in sister publication Private Equity International‘s PEI 300 list of the biggest capital raisers over the last five years, having raised $14.3 billion.

The head of Moelis’ private funds advisory group in Europe is Pablo de la Infiesta, who left Lazard as European fund placement and secondaries advisory head to join the firm in 2017, as Secondaries Investor reported.

There was about $25 billion worth of GP-led transactions last year as more household names brought such processes to market, according to UBS’s 2019 Secondary Market Survey and Outlook

At least half of the LPs in Europe, North America and Asia have encountered a GP-led process on a fund in which they are invested, according to Coller Capital‘s summer 2019 Global Private Equity Barometer, published Monday.

Moelis declined to comment.