HgCapital Trust beefs up value after Mercury Pharma sell-off

Michael Bow
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PRIVATE equity trust HgCapital Trust yesterday reported double digit total return figures after exiting two of its top three holdings this year.

The 32-company portfolio saw its disposal of pharmaceutical distributor Mercury Pharma last week and psychometric testing outfit SHL in July add 28.6p to its net asset value (NAV) – equal to a total return of 10.1 per cent over the half year.

The three exits – from Pharma, SHL and windfarm vehicle RPPI – boosted the firm’s investment firepower by £90m.

Adding in a £40m undrawn loan facility it gives the trust £130m to invest – equivalent to 34 per cent of net assets.

Chief executive Nic Humphries also said more portfolio company disposals would be forthcoming in the next six to 12 months at a “significant premia”.

He added: “If we look at the current portfolio we continue to see double digit revenue and EBITDA growth.”

“We continue to believe that’s what we’ll see going forward, almost whatever the economy does over the next six to 12 months.”

Growth in underlying investments slowed over the full year, with the top 20 companies in the buyout portfolio posting average sales growth of 11 per cent, down slightly from 13 per cent the year before.