HgT — Preliminary FY23 NAV TR at 10.7%

HgT (LSE: HGT)

Last close As at 22/06/2024

GBP4.87

−3.00 (−0.61%)

Market capitalisation

GBP2,230m

More on this equity

Research: Investment Companies

HgT — Preliminary FY23 NAV TR at 10.7%

HgT’s preliminary unaudited FY23 trading update reported a 10.7% net asset value total return (NAV TR) in FY23 (of which c 1% in Q423). This was supported by continued strong trading across its portfolio, with the top 20 holdings (representing 77% of the portfolio’s value) posting average revenue and EBITDA growth of 25% and 28% respectively. HgT therefore sustained its multi-year track record of delivering c 20–30% pa revenue and EBITDA growth. Despite muted global M&A activity and private equity exits, HgT had a good level of liquidity events in FY23 with £343m of proceeds from exits and refinancings. The discount narrowing from 23% to 13% during FY23 (now c 14%) translated into a share price TR of 26.2%.

Milosz Papst

Written by

Milosz Papst

Director, Financials

Investment Companies

HgT

Preliminary FY23 NAV total return of 10.7%

Investment trusts
Private equity funds

05 February 2024

Price

429.5p

Market cap

£1,966m

NAV*

£2,282m

NAV per share*

498.6p

Discount to NAV

13.9%

*Preliminary at end-2023.

Yield

1.5%

Shares in issue

457.7m

Code/ISIN

HGT/GB00BJ0LT190

Primary exchange

LSE

AIC sector

Private equity

52-week high/low

448.5p

320.5p

498.6p

456.6p

Gearing

Net gearing at end-H123

0.0%

Fund objective

HgT’s investment objective is to provide shareholders with consistent long-term returns in excess of the UK All-Share Index by investing predominantly in unquoted companies where value can be created through strategic and operational change.

Bull points

Focus on resilient software and services companies with broad client bases.

Portfolio companies continue to deliver both solid top- and bottom-line performance.

Experienced investment team with a strong, long-term track record.

Bear points

Investor rotation away from tech could resume in the event of increasing risk aversion.

The impact of a worsening macroeconomic environment on SMEs may result in reduced net client additions across HgT’s portfolio.

High net leverage of portfolio companies but supported by high share of recurring revenues, strong earnings growth and high cash generation.

Analysts

Milosz Papst

+44 (0) 20 3077 5720

Katherine Thomson

+44 (0) 20 3077 5720

HgT is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

HgT’s preliminary unaudited FY23 trading update reported a 10.7% net asset value total return (NAV TR) in FY23 (of which c 1% in Q423). This was supported by continued strong trading across its portfolio, with the top 20 holdings (representing 77% of the portfolio’s value) posting average revenue and EBITDA growth of 25% and 28% respectively. HgT therefore sustained its multi-year track record of delivering c 20–30% pa revenue and EBITDA growth. Despite muted global M&A activity and private equity exits, HgT had a good level of liquidity events in FY23 with £343m of proceeds from exits and refinancings. The discount narrowing from 23% to 13% during FY23 (now c 14%) translated into a share price TR of 26.2%.

Healthy uplifts on HgT’s exits continued in FY23

HgT achieved a strong average uplift to end-2022 carrying values of 25% on its full and partial exits of portfolio holdings in FY23. This includes £109m from the full exit of the cloud-based transportation management software platform Transporeon (at an uplift of 18% to the last carrying value) and c £22m from the full exit of Commify, a business messaging solutions provider to local enterprises (at a 32% uplift to the end-March 2023 carrying value). Finally, HgT decided to conduct a secondary sale of 25% of its limited partner position in Hg Genesis 8 (a 2017 vintage mid-market fund) for £91m and agreed with Hg to reduce its commitment to Hg Saturn 3, which led to a £47.3m rebate of invested capital (see our previous note for details).

Further liquidity events agreed recently

HgT has announced four further transactions in recent weeks, which Hg expects, to generate c £295m of proceeds to HgT upon closure in 2024 (of which some will be reinvested in the same businesses). These include the onboarding of new investors into Visma via the Hg Saturn funds (with HgT making a net investment of £83.5m), the £93.8m full exit from GGW Group (£44.2m will be reinvested in the business), the partial realisation of IRIS (with net proceeds to HgT of c £42.1m), and the £52m full exit from Argus Media. We note that the GGW Group and Argus Media exits value the businesses at a 40% and 7% uplift to the end-September 2023 carrying value, respectively. The IRIS deal values the business in line with the end-September 2023 carrying value, but c 14% above the end-2022 carrying value. We believe that the FY23 realisations and recently announced deals are a testament to the quality of the trust’s portfolio and its conservative valuation approach.

Comfortable balance sheet position

HgT was cautious in terms of new and follow-on platform investments in FY23, with total investments of £71m, including GTreasury, Nomadia, JTL, P&I and Howden. That said, it had previously highlighted the attractive pricing and strong flow of opportunities for smaller bolt-on acquisitions throughout 2023. After accounting for all the transactions agreed but not yet closed at end-2023, HgT’s available liquid resources stand at £735m (including £350m of undrawn credit facility). This compares with its £808m outstanding commitments, which should be drawn over the next few years.

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by HgT and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by HgT. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

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No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2024 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by HgT and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by HgT. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2024 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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