A Better IPO before Christmas

The former head of UK private equity firm Alchemy Partners, Jon Moulton, is to launch his new fund on the London Stock Exchange before Christmas.

Better Capital is looking to raise over £100m for turnaround investments in the UK and Ireland. Speaking to Reuters, Moulton said he had received interest from traditional private equity backers as well as equities players and wealth managers.

Moulton has invested his own money in the fund and is ready to start investing immediately.

Since launching in October, Better Capital has already made an appointment in the shape of Nick Sanders, a former CEO of Alchemy-backed CompAir Group, as head of portfolio operations.

Moulton, who founded Alchemy in 1997, walked away in September after falling out with other senior partners there over the future investment strategy of the firm. Dominic Slade, now managing partner, wanted to change the firm into a specialist financial services one, which Moulton disagreed with.

Speaking to EVCJ just a few weeks after his resignation, Moulton said: “To turn away from the turnaround area was something I really think was just silly. We had been selling turnarounds hard to our investors as recently as our AGM in May. It’s an area where our image is fantastic and our track record is superb. We had 13 turnarounds since we started the company and every one of them was turned into profit within the first year and the realised record was well into the 40s for IRR.”

At his old firm, Alchemy has announced it has suspended investments until 2011, with no plans to raise a fund in the near future.