LONDON, UK - Six months after floating Halfords plc on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of GBP 593 million (€ 858 million), London private equity house CVC Capital Partners has sold half its remaining 40% stake in the auto parts and bicycles retailer to raise GBP 135 million(€ 195 million).
In all, the value of CVC's original equity investment has nearly tripled since it bought Halfords from drug store chain Boots Group plc two years ago.
CVC invested GBP 137 million (€ 198 million) of equity in the GBP 427 million (€617 million) buyout. It recouped most of that when it sold 45% of the company in the IPO in June for GBP 126 million (€ 182 million) before commissions and fees.
The secondary offering allowed CVC to realize a profit and capture some of the gain in the stock since June. It received 295 pence per share for the 46 million shares it sold through Merrill Lynch International and Citigroup Global Markets (UK) Ltd. on Thursday — well above the 260 pence IPO price.
CVC retains a 19.8% stake, which was worth GBP 132.3 million ( € 191 million) at Friday's closing price, so that the realized and unrealized value comes to almost GBP 390 million (€ 564 million).
The stock fell almost 3.5% Friday to 293.50 pence.
The firm is committed not to sell further shares for only a further 60 days, but a source said CVC is a committed investor and CVC partner Jonathan Feuer will retain a seat on the Halfords board.
Founded in Birmingham 112 years ago, Halfords now sells a quarter of the U.K.'s bicycles and a fifth of its car parts. The company announced in November that sales in the 26 weeks to Oct. 1 were up 12.7% over the prior year to GBP 322 million (€ 465 million), with like-for-like sales up 10.6% and pre-tax profits up 170% at GBP 26.5 million (€ 28 million).