Bowmark’s speedy fund raising

The whole fundraising process was completed in only 10 weeks from start to finish, and the fund was heavily oversubscribed.

Although restricted primarily to Bowmark’s existing relationships, the fund attracted investor demand significantly in excess of its £265m cap. A total of 23 investors committed to the fund, including leading institutional investors from Europe and the US, with approximately 80% of the capital coming from previous Bowmark investors. Overall, 30% of the capital was committed by pension funds, 29% by fund-of-funds, 22% by insurance companies, 10% by endowments and family offices, and 9% by investment managers.

Led by managing partners Kevin Grassby and Charles Ind, Bowmark was originally established in 1997 as Sagitta Private Equity, and was renamed Bowmark Capital following its management buyout from the Sagitta group in 2004.

The fund is the successor to Bowmark Capital Partners III, a £105m fund raised in 2004, which has made nine investments in UK mid-market growth companies and two follow-on investments. Three new investments were completed in 2007, with an average equity investment of £18.5m.

The fund will continue Bowmark’s proven strategy of active investment in growth-oriented service companies, typically with enterprise values of up to £75m. While a range of industries will be considered for investment, the focus will be on five target sectors: business services; leisure; healthcare services; media; and IT services. Transactions are expected to include buyouts, buy-ins, roll-outs, build-ups and later stage development capital opportunities.

Kevin Grassby, managing partner of Bowmark, commented: “The success of the fund raising is a validation of Bowmark’s differentiated investment strategy, and our strong track record of active investment in growth companies. We are delighted that the fund has attracted some of the most highly regarded international institutions, and we now look forward to redoubling our efforts on generating superior returns for our investors.”

Campbell Lutyens & Co. Ltd acted as sole financial adviser and placement agent. SJ Berwin LLP acted as UK legal adviser and Ropes and Gray LLP acted as US legal adviser.