Lyceum Capital is born

West Private Equity has gained independence from WestLB and will change its name to Lyceum Capital. Facilitating this move to independence, AlpInvest Partners N.V. (AlpInvest) and AXA Private Equity have committed to a combined secondary and primary investment in the firm. The investors have agreed to acquire all the investments owned by WestLB AG in WPE’s first fund and to take over all the remaining commitments to that fund (WPE Fund 2000). In addition, AlpInvest and AXA Private Equity have made substantial commitments to a new fund to be raised and managed by WPE.

At the same time, the WPE management team has agreed to acquire the management company of the WPE funds. Following regulatory clearance, WPE will be renamed Lyceum Capital. The WPE team has now expanded to 20 employees and industrial partners. Financial details of the transactions have not been disclosed.

WPE was set up in 1999 with substantial fund commitments and the sponsorship of WestLB AG and has managed in excess of €350m of investments; with the majority of investment capital provided by external investors.

The introduction of new investors and the name change will not result in changes to the firm’s strategy. Lyceum Capital will remain focused on investing in and developing UK-based mid-sized companies. Independence will allow Lyceum Capital to diversify and extend its relationships with international private equity investors and to accelerate the growth of its business.

Philip Buscombe, chief executive of WPE (Lyceum Capital), said: “Since we started investing in 2000, our relationship with WestLB has been highly beneficial for both parties. We have had their backing and sponsorship as we built our business and they have had excellent returns through their investments including the profitable sale of investments in Asquith Court Schools and Southern Cross Healthcare.”