ECI raises £430m for fund 9

UK mid-market firm ECI Partners has closed is ninth fund on £430m, beating its target of £400m and brings the capital under management to over £880m.

The fund launched in September, and is a significant increase on its predecessor fund, ECI 8, which raised £255m in April 2005.

Managing director Steve Tudge saidL “The success of fundraising for ECI 9 has surpassed our expectations given the challenging conditions of the past three months. We are delighted that over 90% of the ECI 9 capital has been committed by existing ECI investors showing the loyalty of our investor base, some of whom will now have invested in the last six successive ECI funds since 1990.”

The firm’s latest vehicle will continue to follow ECI’s well-established investment strategy. It will target niche, market leading business with strong growth potential, focusing on companies with an enterprise value of between £10m and £150m.

ECI has made two acquisitions in 2008. In May it bought a 60% stake UK online media company i-level Group (ilG) in a deal which valued the company at just over £45m.

In June the London-based firm took pharmaceutical services company Premier Research Group (PRG) private from AIM.

ECI has not had an exit since December 2007, when it sold Bounty, a UK parenting club aimed at new and expectant mothers, for £70m to Kaboose, a family-focused online media company based in Toronto, Canada.