Electra Partners is pleased to announce that it has agreed the acquisition of The Original Bowling Company ("TOBC"), the UK's largest ten-pin bowling operator; total funding for the deal amounted to £91 million. Electra Private Equity PLC ("Electra") has invested £51 million of equity in the deal alongside TOBC's management team, led by Steve Burns. Debt facilities for the transaction have been provided by GE, Barclays and Lloyds.

TOBC is the UK's largest ten-pin bowling business with 43 bowling centres operating under the  Hollywood Bowl (29 sites) and AMF (14 sites) brands. TOBC specialises in large, high quality bowling centres, predominantly located in leisure or retail parks, which offer a complete family entertainment experience with restaurants, licenced bars, and state-of-the-art family games arcades. The company employs 1,409 staff, 75 of whom are based at its central support centre in Hemel Hempstead. As part of the transaction, Peter Boddy, formerly UK MD of Fitness First and then CEO of Maxinutrition, will join the board as Non-Executive Chairman.

Alex Fortescue, Chief Investment Partner of Electra Partners, said:

"TOBC is a great fit for Electra's investment portfolio. This deal takes Electra's total new investment since 30 September 2013 to over £300 million, following last year's record level of £337 million."

Bill Priestley, Partner at Electra Partners, said:

"TOBC is a first-class leisure business operating in an industry which offers excellent growth opportunities. The business has a strong track record of industry outperformance, thanks to a market-leading management team and a history of investment-backed growth. We are excited by TOBC's prospects and look forward to working with Steve and his team to grow the business further by continuing to improve the existing portfolio, opening new centres and making strategic acquisitions."

Steve Burns, CEO of The Original Bowling Company, said:

"Through offering a high level of service and market leading facilities TOBC has become the largest bowling operator in the UK. We are delighted to have teamed up with Electra Partners as we embark on the next stage of our development and look forward to drawing on their wealth of experience to further grow TOBC's share of the UK market."

Bill Priestley, Ian Wood and Shakira Adigun-Boaye are responsible for the investment in The Original Bowling Company.

Today's announcement continues a busy year of investment for Electra. Since 30 September 2013 Electra has completed three control buyouts and, including co-investments and bolt-on transactions, 10 deals in total. In the six months to 31 March 2014, Electra announced a record six-month period for investment, investing or committing £250 million, building on record levels of investments and realisations in the year to 30 September 2013.

Electra Partners refers to Electra Partners LLP acting on behalf of its client Electra Private Equity PLC.



For further information please contact:
Andrew Honnor and Matthieu Roussellier, Greenbrook Communications  +44 (0)20 7952 2000
Andrew Kenny and Nicholas Board, Electra Partners  +44 (0)20 7306 3902


Note to Editors:

About Electra Partners LLP
Electra Partners is an independent private equity fund manager with over 25 years' experience in the mid-market buyout sector. During the last 25 years it has invested in excess of £4.1 billion in over 200 deals. As at 31 March 2014, the firm had funds under management of over £1.5 billion including capital available for investment of circa £300 million.

Electra Partners' flexible investment strategy allows it to invest broadly across the private equity market with a particular focus on Buyouts and Co-investments, Secondaries and Debt. In addition to this, its long-term capital base means it is not constrained by expiring investment periods or exit pressure driven by fund raising cycles and is therefore able to realise investments only when returns are maximised for its investors.

The firm's major client is Electra Private Equity PLC ("Electra"), a private equity investment trust which has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1976. Electra's long-term investment performance has been consistently superior to private equity and other benchmarks. Over the ten years to 31 March 2014, Electra has seen diluted NAV per share growth of 260% (equivalent to a ten-year annualised return on equity of 14%) compared to a 129% increase in the FTSE All-Share.

For further information please visit www.electrapartners.com.

Electra Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

About The Original Bowling Company
TOBC was formed in August 2010 by the combination of AMF Bowling's UK Family Entertainment business and the Hollywood Bowl business which was acquired from Mitchells & Butlers PLC. 

The Original Bowling Company is the UK's leading and largest ten-pin bowling operator with 43 centres across the UK comprising 29 Hollywood Bowl centres and 14 AMF centres. TOBC prides itself on offering great service and a modern, innovative family-orientated leisure experience.

Since its formation in 2010, TOBC has modernised the customer bowling experience. With innovations like its state-of-the-art booking and scoring systems, which interact with customers via social media, and centres offering premium restaurants, licenced bars, Costa Coffee outlets and exclusive pre-bookable VIP lanes, TOBC has brought bowling into the 21stCentury.

The company employs 1,409 staff, 75 of whom are based at its central support centre in Hemel Hempstead

For further information, please visit www.hollywoodbowl.co.uk 

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