Gresham, a UK mid-market specialist, is the latest private equity entity to break free from its parent to become independent. The group is spinning out of Zurich Financial Services Group, which has facilitated the spinout as the new entity’s cornerstone investor, committing GBP265 million to the new vehicle.
It’s business as usual: the team remains intact, is operating from the same premises and retains the same name and the same strategy. The senior team is comprised of chief executive Paul Marson-Smith and directors Mike Henebery, Simon Inchley, Ken Lawrence and Paul Thomas. Marson-Smith sees the move as a logical step forward: “Now is the right time, having produced consistent returns and a respected record of investing in the middle-market sector. ”
The team will start fund raising as soon as it gets FSA approval, which is expected by spring 2003.
Zurich’s decision to focus on its core activities coincided perfectly with Gresham’s ambitions to expand the business and offer its proven expertise more widely, said Marson-Smith.
Gresham invests in UK mid-market companies in transactions valued at between GBP5 million and GBP75 million. The group currently has a portfolio of 35 investments and has completed 45 exits since 1998, worth over GBP140 million, at twice the original cost.
Gresham became a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services Group in 1998 following Zurich’s acquisition of British American Financial Services group.