Secondaries in Focus 2021

Bridgepoint saw its share price rise to 440 pence when it started trading on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning – a 26 per cent increase on the 350 pence per share set for its IPO. 

The private equity firm’s shares – whose investments include UK restaurant chain Itsu, Burger King’s France and UK branches and Wiggle – quickly rose 21 per cent during early trading hours and continued rising throughout the day, and it successful debut bodes well for other PE group that are rumoured to be considering a listing; among them Antin Infrastructure Partners and TPG.   

Although private equity deal activity slowed down a bit in Q2 from the first quarter of 2021, the speed at which PE deals closed continued, leading to a massive uptick in deal value, according to Pitchbook’s latest European PE Breakdown report. 

In the second quarter of 2021, around 1,800 deals closed at a total value of EUR169.6 billion, the report showed – which represents a year-on-year increase of 161.2 per cent and 137.3 per cent, respectively. This constitutes Europe’s second-highest quarterly numbers so far, driven by activity in the core middle market. 

The lockdown of economies around the world reshaped many sectors, while accelerating certain trends, such as the increased use of tech and remote working. Meanwhile, notes Pitchbook, the private equity industry has arguably never seen a more favourable environment for dealmaking. 

In the deal space this week: DCVC and Temasek led a USD430 million Series D funding into Pivot Bio, a nitrogen innovator in agriculture, bringing its total equity raised to more than USD600 million; and B2B social media marketing platform Oktopost secured a USD20 million minority investment from London-based growth equity firm Expedition Growth Capital. 

In this week’s podcast, Private Equity Wire spoke to Randy Schwimmer, head of senior lending origination and capital markets at Churchill Asset Management, about capital markets, deal trends and the current private equity middle-market lending environment. 

Schwimmer shared his views on the lender-friendly market environment at the moment, the imbalance of dry powder in private equity funds versus debt funds and what that market imbalance means for private debt capital, as well as why private credit funds put to work during challenging economic periods tend to outperform their peers. 

Karin Wasteson
Editor, Private Equity Wire


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