Kaupthing builds PE portfolio

Kaupthing Bank has launched a new principal investments team to build a private equity portfolio.

The team is led by David Sherratt, former co-head of ISIS Equity Partners London team, who brings 16 years of private equity and corporate finance experience to the team. The focus will be equity investments of between £10m and £100m in the UK, Nordic and selective Western European companies.

Kaputhing will adopt a generalist sector approach, but will also seek to exploit its expertise in consumer markets, food, business services, healthcare and media. A competitive advantage for the bank will be its ability to provide senior and mezzanine debt funding through its acquisition and leveraged finance team, and to structure traditional as well as integrated finance transactions.

The team recently completed its first investment, the £117.4m buyout of Jane Norman, the women’s fashion retailer. In addition to the Jane Norman investment, the new team has inherited the bank’s current portfolio of investments including Mosaic Fashions, which owns the fashion retailers Oasis, Coast, Karen Millen and Whistles. Kaupthing invested alongside Baugur, the Icelandic investment company, in which it also has an equity stake. The bank also holds a stake in Laurel, a managed pub consolidator, which operates under brand names including Hoggs Head and Casa. In that deal, Kaupthing invested alongside Robert Tchenguiz, the property investor, in the secondary buyout from Morgan Grenfell.

Armann Thorvaldsson, global head of Kaupthing Bank Investment Banking, said: “This is another important and exciting development in the success of our investment banking operations in London. Focusing on small and mid-cap companies, we are building a strong reputation for our unique advisory and financing offer. Our approach of investing alongside our clients, aligning our interests with them, and the strengths of our teams lie at the heart of our success.”