The new fund has raised double the amount the firm raised for its first fund in 2004.
Exponent has now committed more than 80% of its first fund to eight investments – these include the acquisition of the TSL Education business from News International for £235m in October 2005, which was then sold to Charterhouse in May 2007; the acquisition of Discovery Group Limited, which trades as Durrants Media Monitoring, from August Equity for £82m in April 2006; the acquisition of Group GTI, a graduate recruitment publisher and online application systems provider in June 2006; the acquisition of Trainline from Virgin for £163m in June 2006, the acquisition of V-Holdings in March 2007; the acquisition of Cardsave in August 2007; and most recently the acquisition of British handbag brand, Radley for £130m.
Capital came from a broad spread of experienced and sophisticated investors based in the UK (29%), Continental Europe (22%), the US (42%) and rest of world (6%), many of which had also invested in the first fund. Investors included funds managed by Bank of Scotland, Danske Private Equity, MassPRIM, NYL Capital Partners, OMERS Capital Partners, Pantheon Ventures and Pathway, as well as substantial US endowment and European private family sources.
Exponent will continue to focus on investing in larger, more complex mid-market buyouts of UK companies and can commit up to £200m in any one transaction.
The fund’s legal adviser was Debevoise & Plimpton and the placement agent was Helix Associates Limited (a Jefferies company).