Nova struts to model exit

Private equity portfolio acquirer Nova Capital Management has sold a stake in Models 1, the world famous model agency, to US buyouts firm OpenGate Capital in a deal which values the company at just under £70m.

It is the first acquisition by Opengate’s new investment vehicle, One Worldwide, which has been set up to explore buying opportunities in the fashion sector.

Founder and managing partner of Opengate, Andrew Nikou, said: “This is our first major step into a new and vital industry. Models 1 presents all the attractive fundamentals any investor admires: rich brand equity, a seasoned management team, a profitable business, fabulous models, and a superstar set of clients and customers which has grown Models 1 into Europe’s number one agency. One Worldwide plans to become a global holding company and has an aggressive expansion policy based on synergistic acquisitions to build the group.”

Model 1 was founded in 1968, and has Agyness Deyn, Linda Evangelista, Yasmin le Bon, Karolina Kurkova and Twiggy on its books.

The business was part of a portfolio of businesses Nova acquired in 2004 called Third Private Equity Fund. It is the sixth exit Nova has made from the fund.

Patrick Austen, operating partner at Nova, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Models 1. The business has a strong management team who have taken the business from strength to strength. We wish them every success for the future.”