Listing of H&T Group on AIM

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Listing of H&T Group on AIM

Rutland Partners LLP (“Rutland”), the UK private equity partnership, announces that The Rutland Fund (“the Fund”) has today realised its investment in H&T Group Limited (“H&T”) for cash through an AIM listing. The enterprise value of H&T on flotation is £91.9 million and the market capitalisation is £54.2 million.

H&T is the UK’s leading pawnbroker with 69 outlets across the UK. The group’s core business is pawnbroking, where it has a pledge book of £24.6 million, and retailing of jewellery sourced from its pawnbroking operations. In recent years the group has also diversified into other services including pay day advances, cheque cashing and pre-paid debit cards. H&T reported earnings before interest, tax and amortisation of £6.7 million in 2005.

Rutland acquired H&T in September 2004 from Cash America International Inc. on a debt free / cash free basis for £49.0 million, of which £15.4 million was provided from the Fund and the balance through a debt package from Barclays.

Since acquiring H&T, Rutland has reshaped the senior management team, overseen an improvement in the efficiency of the operations, supported the management to develop new products and accelerated the roll-out of new stores. This has resulted in the strong underlying growth of the business and paved the way for a flotation on AIM.

The proceeds received by the Fund, after costs and management’s equity, are approximately £44.5 million representing a multiple of 2.9x the Fund’s original investment and an IRR of 89%.

Rutland retains its £3.0 million controlling investment in Svensk Pantbelaning AB, made at the same time as the acquisition of H&T.
Commenting on the realisation, Paul Cartwright of Rutland said:

“The flotation of H&T represents another investment success for Rutland. It demonstrates how with our approach of active engagement we have helped shape and support a strong management team to deliver a sector leader.”
Commenting on the flotation, Peter Middleton, Chairman of H&T Group PLC said:

“Rutland has been a major contributor in creating a business now capable of independence through flotation. H&T can look forward to a bright future as a public company.”

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