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Oakley had a great 2021

Oakley Capital has announced results for the year ended 31 December 2021 and they were good. An NAV return of 35% was surpassed by a share price return of 48%. There is a full-year dividend of 2.25p

The trust made new investments totalling £137m against proceeds of £121m. This left it with cash at year-end of £163m. As is usual with private equity trusts, Oakley runs an over-commitment policy – to reduce the effect of cash drag on returns. At end 2021,outstanding commitments were £404m, with an additional €400m committed to Fund V after the year-end.

Looking at the portfolio, the average portfolio company generated year-on-year EBITDA growth of 28%. On average the portfolio was valued at 13.9x EV/EBITDA. A 76% increase in the vakue of the companies in the portfolio was driven by a combination of EBITDA growth and (24%) multiple expansion – which may have unwound a bit since the year end given falling markets. The average net debt/EBITDA ratio was 4.2x (2020: 3.9x).

The key drivers of NAV growth were:

  • IU Group (+52 pence) – continued, global growth in enrolments for their online university courses
  • TechInsights (+24 pence) – sale of business at 131% premium to book value
  • Wishcard Technologies Group (+10 pence) – Europe’s leading gifts & rewards platform sold nine million gift cards
  • Foreign exchange (-22 pence) – 6.5% change in GBP:EUR

The £121m generated by the portfolio cam from refinancings for IU Group – £65m, Contabo – £13m, 7NXT – £5m, plus £22m from Daisy Group as it made a loan repayment and Oakley achieved a partial investment realisation, and £16m from ACE Education as Fund III’ sold its stake, making 2.1x its investment.

New investments

  • idealista (Fund IV) – £43m – Southern Europe’s leading property portal
  • Dexters (Fund IV) – £13m – London’s premier independent estate agents
  • ICP Education (Fund IV) – £27m – leading independent group of UK-based children’s nurseries
  • ECOMMERCE ONE (Origin) – £6m – provider of ecommerce software in German-speaking Europe
  • ACE Education (Origin) – £10m – reinvestment in the international vocational higher education platform
  • Seedtag (Origin) – £7m – fast-growing provider of contextual advertising solutions

OCI : Oakley had a great 2021

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