Epiris is pleased to announce that it is supporting its portfolio company, The Original Bowling Company ("TOBC"), in its acquisition of Bowlplex. Funding for the transaction will be underwritten by Electra Private Equity PLC ("Electra"). The transaction is subject to approval from the Competition and Markets Authority.

Founded in 1976, Bowlplex operates 17 high-quality ten-pin bowling centres across the UK, primarily located in leisure or retail parks. The acquisition of Bowlplex will increase Electra's interest in the UK's ten-pin bowling sector following its investment in TOBC in September 2014. Electra invested £51 million in TOBC, which operates under the Hollywood Bowl and AMF brands, supporting CEO Steve Burns and his team.

Bill Priestley, Partner at Epiris, said:

"We have been interested in Bowlplex for some time due to the quality of its locations and complementary portfolio. Our plan is to drive further growth through investing in the development of the existing sites and replication of Hollywood Bowl's successful customer offering."

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

"We are delighted Epiris are supporting us in the acquisition of Bowlplex. This is an exciting and transformational development for The Original Bowling Company, and an important step in the growth strategy for our leading leisure brand, Hollywood Bowl.

"We are looking forward to providing a fantastic family entertainment experience to Bowlplex's customers, which will be further enhanced by the planned investment programme in the existing centres."

Bill Priestley, Ian Wood and Shakira Adigun-Boaye are responsible for the Bowlplex deal and the existing investment in TOBC.

This is the sixth acquisition Epiris has announced this financial year, which include the acquisition of TGI Fridays in December 2014 and the follow-on investment in Allflex Corporation in January. In the year to 30 September 2014, Epiris announced a record level of new investment investing £410 million on behalf of its major client Electra Private Equity PLC.

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

Ends

 

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

Note to Editors:

About Epiris LLP
Epiris is an independent private equity fund manager with over 25 years' experience in the mid-market. During the last 25 years it has invested in excess of £4.4 billion in more than 200 deals. As at 30 September 2014, the firm had funds under management of over £1.6 billion including capital available for investment of circa £300 million.

Epiris' 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 30 September 2014, Electra has seen diluted NAV per share growth of 262% (equivalent to a ten-year annualised return on equity of 14%) compared to a 120% increase in the FTSE All-Share.

For further information please visit www.electrapartners.com.

Epiris 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 ten-pin bowling operator with 44 centres across the UK comprising 32 Hollywood Bowl centres and 12 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 21st Century.

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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