Harwood sells to private equity house, exiting the AIM market

The boards of Harwood and Hurst Point Topco are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition pursuant to which Hurst Point Topco shall acquire the entire issued share capital of Harwood. The Acquisition is to be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, Harwood Shareholders will be entitled to receive 145 pence in cash for each Harwood Share.

The cash offer values the entire issued share capital of Harwood at approximately £90.7 million.

The acquisition values Harwood at a multiple of 16.3x its unaudited adjusted earnings and at a multiple of 12.9x its unaudited adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months to 30 April 2019.

The transaction represents an opportunity for all Harwood Shareholders to realise an immediate and attractive cash sum for all of their Harwood Shares, and has the irrevocable support of Harwood Shareholders representing approximately 68.7 percent of Harwood’s total issued share capital.

Commenting on the Acquisition, Peter Mann, Non-Executive Chairman of Harwood, said:

“We are pleased to announce this recommended Acquisition by Carlyle and Hurst Point.  The Harwood management team has demonstrated a strong execution track record, undertaking multiple acquisitions, growing profits and achieving a significant increase in the share price since our IPO in March 2016 at 81p.

Looking ahead, the Board believes that Carlyle and Hurst Point will be excellent partners to Harwood, providing the capital backing, strategic support and additional resources and investment needed for the business to continue to grow. We therefore believe the Acquisition is in the best interests of all our stakeholders.  We are committed to maintaining the very highest quality of service to our clients and our partners going forward. The Harwood Board therefore unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the resolutions relating to the Acquisition.”

Commenting on the Acquisition, Ian Gladman, Executive Chairman of Bidco, said:

“We greatly admire what the founding shareholders and management team at Harwood have achieved since setting up the business over 18 years ago and since its IPO. Carlyle and Hurst Point believe the next phase of Harwood’s development would be best conducted in the private domain and intend to provide the capital backing, investment, strategic support and global expertise to facilitate future growth. We are pleased that the Harwood Board has recommended our proposal and are looking forward to supporting management in the future as they continue to grow the business.”

Harwood are now actively looking for firms to buy, to know more about their proposition contact louise.jeffreys@gunnerandco.com