Bridgepoint eyes lucrative agricultural sale

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The mid-market private equity specialist Bridgepoint is set for an impressive return in only three years on its investment in a leader in agrochemicals in the Iberian peninsular, having apparently decided to sell the business in the face of overwhelming interest in the company.

Bridgepoint is said to have hired HSBC to find a buyer for Rovensa, with multiple sources suggesting that it expects to raise around €800m from the sale. This would represent an excellent outcome for Bridgepoint which only paid €456m for the company in 2016 but has overseen an increase in sales of more than 40% and an encouraging outlook for further profit growth. Rovensa is thought to budgeting for an increase in EBITDA from €70m in its last financial year to €85m in 2020.

Bridgepoint had been minded to hold the company for longer but that it has had many expressions of interest from both private equity and the trade in the face of a shortage of such high quality investment opportunities in the sector. In particular, several of the world’s leading private companies including Bain Capital, Cinven, CVC, Eurazeo, KKR, Partner Group and Platinum Equity are all said to be preparing to bid. It is no thought that a formal auction has yet started and no sale is likely until well into 2020.

Lisbon-based Rovensa, previously known as Sapec Agro, sells crop protection and nutrition products in 70 countries around the world and is the market leader in its field in Portugal. It emphasises what it calls well-balanced agriculture.

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