Investment Criteria

Graphite seeks to partner with quality management teams with a strong track record, a well formulated strategy and the ambition to grow their company.

We aim to identify sector-leading businesses with significant growth potential over the long term. While we primarily invest in established companies, we have also provided development capital to businesses at a relatively early stage of their evolution.

We invest in UK-headquartered businesses across a wide range of industry sectors. While these can be valued at up to £200 million, we continue to back smaller companies, in particular fast-growing businesses with roll-out potential. Many of our successful investments have been led by managers with the ability to develop and defend market leading positions in their industry sectors. However, we recognise that few companies are perfect and we are committed to working with our portfolio companies to identify improvement and turnaround potential, thereby generating value for our funds and all other stakeholders.

Transaction types

Graphite typically invests in established companies with a successful track record of revenue and profit growth.

Most of our transactions are management buy-outs, whether as part of a corporate spin-off or from within a privately-held company. Where appropriate, we will complement and strengthen management teams with external appointments, either at completion or during the early stages of our involvement.

We frequently provide additional funding to existing portfolio companies to fund their growth plans, either organically or through acquisition. In the currently challenging economic environment, a number of our investments are actively consolidating their industry sectors with our support.

We also provide development capital to smaller companies, where we can identify an opportunity to invest a significant amount of equity over the life of the investment. We have extensive experience of supporting a variety of growth strategies, including roll-out and buy-and-build programmes.

Portfolio support

While our investment team manages the portfolio from acquistion to exit, we have a dedicated portfolio team that focuses on building expertise and best practice in areas common to all our investments.

Graphite provides specific assistance in areas such as financial and management information reporting, tax structuring, hedging and procurement. Our portfolio management team is supported by a network of specialist external advisers.

We aim to back the highest quality management teams in their fields. Together with them, we identify relevant improvement initiatives for the period following our investment, some of which can be implemented quickly, while others may take longer to be completed.  Our executives will work with the management team during the implementation phase, specifically focusing on areas in which revenue growth and overhead cost savings can be achieved most effectively.

Realising investments

We assist our management teams in shaping corporate strategy and in making their company an attractive acquisition target.

We have successfully realised over 60 investments in the last 15 years. While historically many of our investments were listed on the London Stock Exchange, the majority of our recent exits have been to trade and financial buyers.

We are flexible and opportunistic in the timing of an exit, understanding that economic and sector cycles play an important role. We work closely with our management teams to determine the best time for realising the full potential of the investment for the benefit of everyone: the business, the management team and the investors.

While we typically expect to hold portfolio investments for four or five years, we have successfully sold some investments within less than two years, while others have remained in our portfolio for over ten years.

Graphite Capital focuses on transactions valued at up to £200 million across a wide range of industry sectors

 

Up to £200m

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Buy-and-Build: Education Personnel

assets/images/png_icons/Teaching_Personnel_icon.png Graphite acquired Teaching Personnel to consolidate its industry sector.  A year later, we significantly increased our investment when the company acquired the next largest competitor…

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Development Capital: London Square

assets/images/png_icons/LSH_Iconjpg.pngGraphite established London Square as a new player in the housebuilding market and provided significant development capital to grow the business…

Graphite has followed up on a number of areas highlighted during due diligence, further professionalising the business to support its next phase of growth.

Phil May, CEO, U-POL

As a start up, we were particularly impressed with the way in which Graphite understood our industry and our business. Their direct approach and hands-on support have allowed us to focus intensely on rapid strategic growth.

Mark Pain, Chairman, London Square

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Trade Buyer: Kurt Geiger

Graphite sold Kurt Geiger, a leading international shoe retailer, to an American trade buyer attracted by the significant synergies arising from the transaction…

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Financial Buyer: Summit Medical

assets/images/png_icons/summitmedical_icon.pngContinuing financial ownership proved the best option for Summit Medical, a manufacturer of medical devices, to support its long-term growth ambitions…

Graphite supported us as we developed new retail formats, built a management team with strength and depth across all operational areas and grew sales and profits dramatically.

Keith Pacey, Maplin Electronics

Graphite helped us grow the business by strengthening our management team, financial controls and corporate focus.

Jean-Charles Julien, U-POL