Threefold return for Matrix on BBI sale

Private equity firm Matrix says it has realised a return of 3.3 times its investment in diagnostics and diabetes specialist BBI Holdings. The AIM-listed company last month announced its proposed takeover by US point-of-care diagnostics business Inverness Medical Innovations (IMI), providing an exit for Matrix and BBI’s other investors.


Private equity firm Matrix says it has realised a return of 3.3 times its investment in diagnostics and diabetes specialist BBI Holdings. The AIM-listed company last month announced its proposed takeover by US point-of-care diagnostics business Inverness Medical Innovations (IMI), providing an exit for Matrix and BBI’s other investors.

Private equity firm Matrix says it has realised a return of 3.3 times its investment in diagnostics and diabetes specialist BBI Holdings. The AIM-listed company last month announced its proposed takeover by US point-of-care diagnostics business Inverness Medical Innovations (IMI), providing an exit for Matrix and BBI’s other investors.

Matrix invested an initial £2.3 million in BBI in 2000, backing the management buy-out led by CEO Julian Barnes along with other institutional investors. It later added further financing and has received proceeds of £7.8 million over the life of its investment, achieving an IRR of 31 per cent.

Jonathan Gregory, director of Matrix, joined BBI’s board when the firm first invested. He comments: ‘Since our original investment, BBI has become cash-generative [and] operationally profitable with a blue-chip customer base, which is unusual in a biotech company.’

BBI’s core businesses are manufacturing rapid diagnostic tests (through its BBInternational subsidiary) and supplying diabetes-care products (through BBI Healthcare).

The company floated on AIM in 2004 with a share price of 47p. After making a number of acquisitions, it now has a market capitalisation of £88 million. IMI has agreed to pay shareholders either 195p in its own stock, or 185p in cash for each share.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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