European private equity firm Cinven, which is headquartered in London, has purchased intellectual property (IP) management business CPA Global.
While financial details for the deal are undisclosed the transaction comes two years after Intermediate Capital Group acquired a minority stake in the company for £400 million.
As part of the 2010 deal ICG took a 47 per cent stake while the management team, led by chief executive Peter Sewell, retained a 22 per cent share.
CPA Global provides clients in sectors such as telecoms and pharmaceuticals with IP management services and software to help protect rights and maintain value.
Stuart McAlpine, partner at Cinven, comments: ‘CPA Global is an exciting primary opportunity to invest in a global leader in a market with defensive qualities and attractive growth prospects.
‘The business has achieved an exceptional financial performance and is highly cash generative.’
McAlpine says that the acquired business fits with Cinven’s strategy of investing in companies where it can accelerate its global presence using Cinven’s sector expertise and Asian portfolio capacity.
According to Cinven, the volume of patents granted worldwide has increased by 5 per cent annually and has significant growth projected in China and other Asian economies.
Data from Thomson Reuters shows that China surpassed both the US and Japan for the total number of patents filed in 2011.
Sewell adds: ‘Companies around the world are increasingly recognising the value of IP.
‘In recent years, we have seen how the patent renewal market and protection of clients’ IP remain business critical throughout the economic cycle.’