Financial News

  • 20 January 2014, 11:53

Ex-HBOS Bankers Engineer 400m Polypipe Float

A group of former executives from the collapsed mortgage lender HBOS are engineering a potentially-lucrative flotation of Polypipe, a fast-growing British manufacturer.

Sky News has learnt that Caird Capital, a firm set up in the aftermath of the banking crisis, is working with Deutsche Bank, Numis Securities and Canaccord Genuity on a public listing that could value Polypipe at more than 400m.

A flotation is expected to take place in the coming months and will underline the revival in the fortunes of Graeme Shankland, who was involved in many of the biggest deals in which HBOS invested its own cash in the period before the 2008 banking crash.

Caird has already made a handsome return from the sale of stakes in Vue Entertainment, the cinema chain, and David Lloyd Leisure, the health and fitness clubs operator.

Polypipe, which manufactures plastic piping for use in houses, has been a beneficiary of the improved performance of the housebuilding sector, which in turn has been aided by Government measures such as its Help To Buy scheme.

Caird is a joint venture between HBOS's rescuer, Lloyds Banking Group, and Coller Capital, a private investment firm.

Polypipe, which was acquired by HBOS in 2007 from an American private equity group, has also been bolstered by housing regulations requiring the use of plastic, rather than copper or concrete-based, piping.

In 2012, the most recent year for which financial results are available, Polypipe made 49m in profit on turnover of 282m, with margins understood to have improved again last year.

Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Doncaster, the majority of its sales are generated in the UK although it also has operations in France and Italy.

People close to Polypipe, which employs nearly 2,000 people, stressed on Friday that a decision about its future would be determined by the company itself.

A flotation is the preferred option, which would entail Polypipe returning to the stock market after a 15-year absence, although a sale remains possible.

Mr Shankland was one of the architects of the Integrated Finance strategy that saw HBOS acquiring stakes in companies to which it also lent money.

The precise structure under which he and his Caird colleagues are incentivised is unclear, although he told The Sunday Times last month: "We get a carried interest should the fund perform beyond a certain hurdle rate.

"We can see we would get to a point where the team could participate - it's a small share of the proceeds once investors have got a certain return."

In total, HBOS spent about 1.8bn on the company stakes which were transferred to Caird, with Mr Shankland confident that their sale could generate as much as 2.3bn.

A spokesman for Polypipe declined to comment.

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