CBPE Fund VI achieves target

Close Brothers Private Equity (CBPE) has closed CBPE Fund VI at GBP202 million. The fund is the firm’s first to include commitments from US investors and includes around GBP90 million from first time investors.

CBPE started fund raising for its sixth fund at the end of 2000 with an original target of between GBP200 million and GBP250 million. CBPE director Nick MacNay, who led the fund raising with CBPE managing director John Snook, said: “We are pleased that Fund VI has exceeded its original target of GBP200 million. This is a positive outcome in what has been a difficult time for raising new capital.” The firm is particularly pleased with the response from investors outside the UK with 40 per cent of the fund committed by US and European institutions.

Partner Simon Wildig added that US investors responded well in spite of the events of September 11. He said: “The attraction of our fund is that it is not exposed to high risk investments such as technology. We look at typical UK mid-market deals, which are consistent in performance and cash generative. Investors are attracted by that at the moment.”

CBPE Fund VI will continue the investment strategy of the last fund, which raised GBP110 million in 1997. It will invest GBP2 million to GBP20 million in transactions of GBP5 million to GBP50 million. CBPE invests in UK buy and builds, institutional buyouts and development capital. Target sectors are business and IT support services, transport and logistics, industrial manufactured products, leisure and tourism.

Around 40 per cent of the fund has already been committed to nine deals and CBPE plans to invest the remainder of the fund over the next 18 to 24 months in a further six to ten transactions. Investments from the fund so far include; the acquisition of Aroma & Fine Chemicals from International Flavor & Fragrances, the secondary buyout of NDR, and the acquisition of Gradus from Headlam.