Esure float helps boost Electra’s £368m acquisition warchest

Michael Bow
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ELECTRA Private Equity, the listed buyout company, yesterday said its blockbuster float of car insurer Esure helped boost its portfolio value by a fifth compared to six months ago.

The 25-year-old group, chaired by Ofcom chair Colette Bowe and led by managing partner Hugh Mumford, said the initial public offering of part of its holdings has returned the company £68m so far.

Another £98m from the sale of its largest investment Allflex, which makes animal ID tags for cattle and pets, to BC Partners also helped drive up the value of the portfolio, which increased 19 per cent over the six months to the end of March.

Electra floated part of Esure, the company behind the idiosyncratic Sheilas’ Wheels insurance brand, in March, three years after buying the company.

The group now has an £111m cash arsenal at its disposal following the deal, plus a further £257m from the Allflex sale, to spend on future acquisitions.

The company, which makes investments in the mid-market, said it was keeping an eye on distressed sales and would be helped by the need for businesses to dispose of non-core assets and refinance debt.

“Electra Partners has an interesting pipeline of potential transactions with a continued focus on bank owned assets,” Bowe said in a statement.

The group said it had invested a record £204m in the six month period, compared to £92m for the same period a year earlier, mainly on bank assets.

It bought Axio Data for £91m and Cala Group for £13m in the period.