Macquarie buys into asset firm Bluestone

AUSTRALIAN bank Macquarie has acquired a 17.5 per cent stake in capital and asset management group Bluestone for between £5 and £10m, it announced yesterday.

While no price tag has been put on the all-cash deal, sources said the price paid by Macquarie would be based on an open market multiplier of between eight to 12 times Bluestone’s profits, which are expected to be AS$6.4m (£3.9m) for the year ending June.

Based on that figure, a conservative valuation for Bluestone would be £31.6m (AS$51.2m) while at the upper end it be £47.5m (AS$76.8m). That would put Macquarie’s stake at between £5.5m and £8.3m

The proceeds of the capital raised are to be used to support Bluestone’s expansion into the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe, the company said.

Bluestone’s chairman, Alistair Jeffery, said that he looked forward to developing the relationship with Macquarie in the coming years.

“In our view there are a wide range of attractive investment opportunities emerging in the wake of the global financial crisis, and this investment positions Bluestone to benefit from the diverse opportunities we are seeing,” he added.