Foresight Group sells stake in Autologic generating 3.4 times return for investors

• UK technology success, Autologic Diagnostic Holdings Ltd (‘Autologic’), receives a £46m bid from ISIS Equity Partners to implement  a secondary MBO
• Leading SME investor Foresight Group's initial investment on behalf of Foresight VCT, Foresight 2 VCT, Foresight 3 VCT and Foresight 4 VCT generates a 3.4 times return
• Foresight retains a minority shareholding and loan position in the company.

Foresight Group has sold just over 50% of its stake in Autologic to a new company funded by ISIS Equity Partners in a secondary management buyout at an enterprise value of £46m.

Foresight invested £3.75m in Autologic in February 2009, on behalf of the Foresight VCT, Foresight 2 VCT, Foresight 3 VCT and Foresight 4 VCT. The secondary buyout by ISIS Equity Partners, together with a recapitalisation of the company completed in July 2011, has returned £12.7m in aggregate to the four funds, representing a return of 3.4 times the original investment.  Foresight is retaining a minority shareholding and loan position in the new company

Autologic is one of the fastest growing vehicle diagnostic services companies in the world, with a growth of 125% over the past two years.  It supplies independent garages with diagnostic solutions and back-up support to enable them to service and repair leading car brands.  Autologic is based in Oxfordshire, with offices in New York and Hong Kong and the management team is led by Kevin Finn and Peter Toland, along with Technical Director Ian Jones. 

Donald Maclennan, Partner at Foresight Group, commented: “The Autologic team has done a terrific job in continuing to grow the business in challenging markets.  We are delighted to be retaining a shareholding in this dynamic business as the management continues to develop it into the leader in its field. Autologic is typical of the growth capital investments Foresight makes in UK SMEs; an exceptional management team, profitable, high growth, a growing global market and a sustainable competitive advantage."

This transaction highlights the role that VCTs play in funding UK SMEs and in particular in providing growth capital at a time when traditional bank funding is scarce. Foresight is one of the leading investors in UK SMEs. 

ENDS

For more information, please contact

Foresight Group:
Ben Thompson, Marketing Director bthompson@foresightgroup.eu  +44 (0)20 3667 8155

Notes to Editors

Foresight is an independent alternative asset manager, which focuses primarily on investments in unquoted UK and European companies or projects and offers investors exclusive access to attractive income and growth opportunities.

Foresight has in excess of £600 million assets under management across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

Foresight is the manager of the most successful VCT of all time, Foresight VCT, which has returned more than 100% of the fund to investors in dividend payments since launch in 1997, representing £30m.  Foresight VCT was also the best performing VCT in 2011, with a growth in its share price of 51% (Source AIC)

The Foresight Private Equity team, comprised of eight investment professionals, invests between £1m and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs. The strength and depth of the team has enabled Foresight to lead the consolidation of the VCT sector, taking over the management mandates of established VCTs, such as Advent VCT, Advent 2 VCT, Noble VCT, Keydata Income 1 and 2 VCTs, Acuity Growth VCT and Acuity 3 VCT, from other investment managers.

In the solar sector, Foresight’s solar funds have already invested in more than £300 million of operating PV assets in Italy, UK and Spain.