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Acquisition of BrightHouse and Thresher June 2007

The investment consortium led by Edmund Truell agrees the sale of BrightHouse and Threshers to Vision Capital for over £250 million

A consortium of blue-chip institutional investors led by Edmund Truell recently announced that it had agreed to acquire a group of assets from Terra Firma, including Threshers and Carmelite Capital, the parent of the Thorn pension scheme, together with BrightHouse and Quadriga.  The consortium intends upon completion, subject to regulatory clearance, to restructure its interests in the Thorn group and now announces an agreement to sell a majority stake in one of the assets, Threshers, to Vision Capital, together with 100% of BrightHouse.  The consortium will continue to hold a 25% stake in Threshers.

In the brief period of ownership the consortium acted rapidly to secure the £85 million Threshers pension fund.  A new escrow of £32 million of cash will address the pension liabilities on an FRS 17 basis, whereas the fund was previously in significant deficit.  Experts drawn from the Pension Insurance Corporation will run the fund going forward: Sir Nicholas Montagu, Graham Cooper, Tracy Blackwell and Mark Gull.  It is intended that a range of insurance solutions will be explored in due course.

The investment consortium is also planning on restructuring its interests in the Thorn group.  Subject to its acquisition closing and to further regulatory consents, it will sell its entire interest in BrightHouse to Vision Capital.  The consortium intends to retain the £1.2 billion Thorn pension scheme and Quadriga.  Vision Capital plan to work with the management to grow the business under the leadership team headed by Leo McKee, Chief Executive.

The consortium’s ambition is to provide further support and resources to Quadriga in order to continue to consolidate its position as a leading provider of entertainment and internet services to hotels.  

Edi Truell commented:

“We are pleased to have successfully agreed the sale of these two companies whilst enhancing the security of the Threshers pension fund.”

Julian Mash, Chief Executive of Vision Capital, said:

"This is a win-win deal for us and Edmund Truell's consortium.  With the support of Goldman Sachs and our other investors, we are looking forward to acquiring these established businesses with potential for further growth and working with their management teams to achieve it.”

Vision Capital is a limited liability partnership | Registered in England number: OC336240 | Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority