Bridgepoint   |   The Point   |   March 2022   |   Issue 40
Ins & outs

Bridgepoint news

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Bridgepoint exits testing
specialist Element

Element Material Technology has been sold by Bridgepoint, following a period of exceptional growth

Element is a global leader in testing, inspection and certification (TIC) services, operating in technically demanding and highly regulated sectors around the globe.  

Generating annual revenues of around $1 billion, the London-based company has grown by more 20 per cent a year for the past decade and today operates a network of more than 200 laboratories in 30 countries. 

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With a team of around 7,000 scientists, engineers and technologists, Element supports businesses from the early R&D stage, through complex regulatory approvals and into production.

 

The group also benefits from strong global environmental, social and governance tailwinds, with more than 60 per cent of its work directly supporting clients as they strive to become more sustainable.

 

Bridgepoint partner Chris Busby says: “Element has been bold in its ambition, expanding its expertise to serve more than 50,000 customers worldwide. It is now an undisputed heavyweight in TIC.” Element CEO Jo Wetz says: “Bridgepoint has been an exceptional partner, helping to support a 10-fold increase in our turnover over the past decade.”

 

Element has been acquired by Singaporean investment group Temasek n

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Risk management firm FCG sold after doubling in size

Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC) is selling FCG Group, a Nordic specialist in governance, risk management and compliance services to the financial industry. 

Founded in 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, FCG has become a leading player in its field, with more than 270 employees in the Nordic region and Germany. The group provides advisory, outsourcing, technology and fund administration services to customers ranging from fast-growing fintech start-ups to large banks.

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“FCG has a talented and highly committed team and its progress during our ownership has been impressive. The group has more than doubled in size, expanded its service offering, added tech capabilities and software solutions, and has grown internationally. The team is now well placed to continue its growth ambitions and development under new ownership,” says BDC partner Johan Dahlfors n

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Bridgepoint buys into transport solutions group PTV

Bridgepoint has acquired a majority stake in PTV Group, a cutting-edge software and consultancy firm specialising in traffic management and transport solutions.   

Based in Karlsruhe, south-west Germany, PTV is a leader in its field, with more than 40 years’ experience in mobility and logistics. The company works with around 2,500 cities and municipalities, offering traffic simulation and modelling products, real-time traffic management, and analysis and advice on route optimisation. 

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Bridgepoint partner and head of DACH, Carsten Kratz explains: “With PTV, we are gaining a global leader for our portfolio that enables cities, municipalities and other organisations to meet the social, environmental and economic demands of our time. The company also represents the ideal platform to pursue further acquisitions in the field of intelligent mobility ecosystems.”

 

PTV was previously owned by Porsche Automobil Holding, and the German carmaker will retain a significant minority stake. Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman at Porsche and chairman of the PTV supervisory board, says: “The market for intelligent mobility and logistics offers enormous growth potential due to the decarbonisation and urbanisation megatrends. In Bridgepoint, with their buy-and-build expertise, we found the right partner for the management team to lead PTV into a very successful future.” n

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Miller Homes moves on after sales volumes soar

Premier regional housebuilder Miller Homes has been sold by Bridgepoint

The company is one of the UK’s most established housebuilders, known for building high-quality, sustainable developments on the edge of towns and suburbs.  

The firm has grown substantially since being acquired by Bridgepoint in 2017, expanding into new areas, completing two strategic acquisitions and increasing annual house sales by more than 30 per cent. 

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Jamie Wyatt, partner and co-head of UK investment at Bridgepoint, says: “We are delighted to have supported Miller Homes and its management in growing the business. Under our period of ownership, the number of houses sold rose annually to around 4,000, revenues exceeded £1 billion for the first time and profits increased by almost 50%.” n

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Fast-growing games firm
backed by BDC

Bridgepoint Development Capital is investing in Plug In Digital, a top distributor and publisher of popular video games.  

Based in Montpellier, France, the company has grown by more than 50 per cent annually over the past five years, helping studios and publishers to distribute their games worldwide and publishing its own titles across a range of platforms. 

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The group’s portfolio spans a variety of top genres, with recent successes including The Forgotten City, centred on ancient Rome. BDC partner Olivier Nemsguern says: “Plug In Digital is well positioned in a really exciting market and has built a great brand in the indie publishing space. We look forward to working with the company during its next chapter of development.” n

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BDC buys supply chain expert Achilles

Achilles, a global authority on supply chain risk and performance management, has been acquired by Bridgepoint Development Capital. 

With more than 30 years’ experience and sector-leading technology, Achilles helps businesses to make supply chains more sustainable, efficient and ethical, thereby mitigating risk and driving growth.

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Bridgepoint’s investment will enable Achilles to expand both organically and through acquisition, delivering new capabilities in areas such as diversity and inclusion, health and safety, supply chain mapping and environmental, social and governance oversight. BDC director Matt Legg says: “Supply chains around the world are under increased pressure and scrutiny, creating opportunities for companies that are able to provide data-driven solutions to ensure more sustainable and ethical services. Achilles, with its global platform, breadth of risk coverage, in-house audit capabilities, and depth of data validation, provides a compelling proposition to its customers.” n

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PharmaReview wins support for expansion

Bridgepoint Growth has partnered with PharmaReview, a specialist supplier to the life sciences sector, to accelerate future expansion and development.

With more than 30 years’ experieFounded in 2011, the company works with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, ensuring that promotional materials are medically accurate and comply with ethical, legal and regulatory requirements. 

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The group also ensures that documents make scientific sense and that all claims are backed up with references to accurate and up-to-date sources.

 

Ralph Carter, co-founder and director of PharmaReview, explains: “We are a successful and growing business, and we need help with that growth.”Fellow co-founder and director Tessa Pugh adds: “Bridgepoint brings depth of experience in expansion and will work with us to help us realise our potential.” n

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Bridgepoint acquires software group Fenergo

Fenergo, a leading provider of software services for financial institutions, has been acquired by Bridgepoint.

Established in 2009, Fenergo has developed an award-winning platform, delivering know-your-customer and client lifecycle management software solutions to some of the world’s largest banks.

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Bridgepoint’s support will accelerate investment in the firm’s software-as-a-service strategy and product line development. Fenergo generated revenues of $107 million in the year to March 2021 and further robust growth is expected, given the increasing role of compliance and digitalisation throughout the financial services industry. Bridgepoint partner David Nicault comments: “Continued pressure on financial institutions to improve their compliance work, while at the same time managing margins and increased regulation, has created the need for integrated digital solutions that help to reduce operating costs, improve capital allocation and ensure compliance with regulations. We look forward to working closely with the management team at Fenergo as they build on their success to date and realise their full growth potential.” Bridgepoint is investing in Fenergo alongside French private equity firm Astorg. Fenergo founder and CEO Marc Murphy says: “Both Astorg and Bridgepoint have enormous experience and credibility in our sector – something I am keen to leverage over the coming years.” n

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Exit for biopolymer manufacturer HTL

Fast-growing biotech and industrial firm HTL Biotechnology has been sold by Bridgepoint.

Founded in 1992, HTL provides customised, pharmaceutical-grade biopolymer solutions, used in areas such as ophthalmology, rheumatology, urology, dermatology, and medical aesthetics. 

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A supplier to leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies worldwide, HTL was the first company to industrialise the bioproduction of hyaluronic acid, a natural lubricant that is found in eyes and joints.

 

Bridgepoint partner Vincent-Gaël Baudet says: “We’re delighted to have worked with the HTL management team, driving the company’s transition as it became a biotechnology platform of scale, and a leading R&D partner to pharmaceutical companies around the world. We wish the management team every success as they embark on the next exciting chapter of their development.” n

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Sustainability specialist ACT wins investment backing

Bridgepoint is investing in ACT, which helps companies and organisations around the world to reduce their carbon footprints. 

Founded in 2009, ACT operates from offices in Amsterdam, New York, Shanghai and Paris, offering more than 70 sustainability products worldwide. 

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The company also supports high-impact climate projects that deliver renewable certificates and carbon credits, helping local communities to generate revenue while conserving their essential ecosystems.

 

ACT co-founder and CEO Bram Bastiaansen says: “With a partner like Bridgepoint, we can create new economic opportunities in local communities around the world, while ensuring today’s leading organisations can meet even the most ambitious sustainability targets.”

 

Bridgepoint partner Olivier van Riet Paap adds: “The market in which ACT operates is forecast to grow rapidly. We have an exciting opportunity to back a true ESG-led innovator and leader in its field, and to help it to expand market share and pursue international growth in its core markets.”

 

Bridgepoint has taken a minority investment in ACT n

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Food brand itsu poised for growth

Asian-inspired food brand itsu has established a strategic partnership with Bridgepoint. The deal will support the restaurant group’s growth ambitions, including the creation of 100 new outlets and 2,000 jobs in the UK alone over the next five years.

itsu has grown rapidly in recent times, with total sales for 2022 forecast to be well in excess of £170 million. The company operates in the UK, France and Belgium and its grocery business – supplying supermarkets and health food stores – is growing at around 70 per cent annually.

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Bridgepoint partner Benoît Alteirac explains: “We see a global opportunity for itsu. The company combines affordable and convenient food with an outstanding operational model, coupled with deep-rooted brand values.” n