Bridgepoint explores sale of Humanetics Group for $1.5 billion -sources

By Milana Vinn and Amy-Jo Crowley

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private equity firm Bridgepoint Group Plc is exploring a sale of Humanetics Group that could value the safety systems technology provider at about $1.5 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

London-based Bridgepoint has tapped investment bank Evercore Inc to advise Humanetics on its sale process that is expected to attract the interest of both strategic and private equity buyers, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the discussions are confidential.

Humanetics is expecting to command a valuation equivalent to over 15 times its 12-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of nearly $90 million, the sources said.

Bridgepoint and Evercore declined to comment, while Humanetics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Humanetics, which operates through its legal entity Safety Technology Holdings Inc, traces its roots to Alderson Research Laboratories, which was founded in 1952 by Samuel W. Alderson. It started out as a maker of crash-test dummies for testing aircraft ejection seats, aviation helmets, and pilot restraint systems.

Chicago-based private equity firm Wynnchurch Capital bought the company in 2009 when it was known as First Technology Safety Systems. In 2011, Humanetics was formed through the merger of First Technology Safety Systems and Denton ATD, another crash-test dummy maker.

Farmington Hills, Michigan-headquartered Humanetics currently provides virtual simulation software used during the vehicle design process, and also makes hardware and software used to gather and analyze data. It also provides spare parts, testing equipment and calibration tools to automakers, aerospace companies and government contractors.

Bridgepoint bought Humanetics from Golden Gate Capital in 2018 and has continued to grow it through acquisitions. Humanetics acquired laser processing equipment maker OpTek Systems in 2019, and two design software makers Human Solutions and Avalution, in 2021.

(Reporting by Milana Vinn in New York and Amy-Jo Crowley in London; Editing by Anirban Sen and Chris Reese)