Graphite Capital has acquired Random42, one of the largest global medical animation producers, from Vespa Capital. Medical animation provides a graphic representation of disease mechanisms and the ways in which medical and pharmaceutical products interact with the human body. Random42 provides high-quality medical animation and digital media services to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.
Graphite’s portfolio company, New World Trading Company, a fast-growing pub and restaurant business with 17 sites, has won a number of awards at the MCA Retailer’s Retailer of the Year 2017 and The Publican Awards 2017. The company was the winner of Best Use of Technology for its internal staff app, Tribes, at the MCA Retailer’s Retailer of the Year. It then set a new record at The Publican Awards by winning all six of the categories in which it was nominated – Best Drinks Offer, Best Managed Pub Company, Best New Pub/Bar, Best Pub Operations Team, Best Pub Brand/Concept and Best Pub Employer (500 plus employees).
Three of Graphite Capital’s portfolio companies have been recognised as being among the country’s best employers. New World Trading Company, an operator of innovative pub restaurants, Hawksmoor, an operator of prime steak restaurants, and Explore Learning, the UK's leading provider of after-school tuition, have all been included in this year’s top 100.
Graphite's portfolio company, Explore Learning, the UK's leading provider of after-school tuition to children aged between 5-14, has won the Education Investor Award 2016 for the best 'Private Tuition Centre Operator'. This is the fifth time in six years that Explore has won its award category.
Graphite Capital has acquired Beck & Pollitzer from Bridgepoint Development Capital for an undisclosed sum. The company provides industrial machinery installation and relocation services, ranging from moving single machines to the relocation of entire factories and installation of complex production lines. Beck & Pollitzer employs more than 600 staff in 26 offices located in 14 countries and executes projects worldwide.
Graphite Capital's acquired New World Trading Company (NWTC), a fast-growing pub and restaurant business headquartered in Knutsford, Cheshire, in a £50 million transaction. NWTC opened its first pub in 2011 and now operates 14 pubs/restaurants nationally under five sub brands: The Botanist, The Oast House, Smugglers Cove, The Trading House and The Club House.
Graphite Capital has added to its growing investment team with the appointment of John Western as investment manager.
John joins Graphite from Jefferies, where he was initially in the financial sponsors group and later an associate in the industrials investment banking team. During his time at Jefferies, he worked on numerous M&A, equity and debt transactions on behalf of both private equity and corporate clients.
Two of Graphite Capital’s portfolio companies have been recognised as being among the country’s best employers. Hawksmoor, an operator of prime steak restaurants, was ranked 15th and Explore Learning, the UK's leading provider of after-school tuition, has come 57th.
Graphite Capital has provided development capital to Aero Technics, a civil aircraft maintenance business focusing on cabin services, to acquire Airbase Interiors, which specialises in the repair and dry cleaning of aircraft seats.
The Acquisition of Airbase is the first step towards building a group of businesses focused on aircraft servicing with significant growth opportunities in both the UK and internationally.
Graphite Capital has won 'Private Equity Investor of the Year' at the annual EducationInvestor awards in London. Separately, Graphite's portfolio company, Explore learning, the UK's leading provider of after-school tuition to children aged between 5 and 14, was crowned 'Private Tuition Centre Operator of the Year' for the fourth time in the last five years.
Graphite Capital has sold its investment in Sure Group, the leading provider of gas appliance maintenance and installation services to local authorities and housing associations in the Northwest of England and the Midlands, to Lakehouse plc. Graphite acquired Sure in 2005 and, under its ownership, revenues trebled, with the company significantly expanding its geographical coverage and the range of services offered to its clients.
Graphite Capital has sold its majority holding in The Groucho Club, the UK's best known arts and media members club, to the management team with backing from a group of investors. Graphite Enterprise Trust has rolled over its existing investment and will remain a significant shareholder in the club.
National Fostering Agency (NFA) has completed a management buyout and raised additional expansion capital in a transaction in which Stirling Square Capital Partners is replacing Graphite Capital as its principal shareholder. NFA is the UK’s largest independent fostering agency with 16 offices nationwide, supporting nearly 2,100 foster families. The existing management team will continue to lead the company following this transaction.
Three of Graphite Capital’s portfolio companies have been recognised as being among the country’s best employers. Hawksmoor, an operator of prime steak restaurants, was ranked 12th, Explore Learning, the UK's leading provider of after-school tuition, has come 36th and Corbin & King, an operator of signature restaurants and hotels, was ranked 97th.
Graphite Capital portfolio company Integrity Software has successfully completed its disposal programme. Following Graphite’s investment in 2005, a number of divisions were acquired by trade buyers, with the remaining two, the company’s Hair & Beauty and Construction software divisions, sold to Canadian trade consolidators in separate transactions.
Explore Learning, one of the UK’s leading providers of after-school tuition to children aged between 5 and 14, has won the Education Investor Award 2014 for the best ‘Private Tuition Centre Operator’. In August 2012, Graphite Capital backed the management buy-out of Explore Learning.
Graphite Capital provides funding to ICR to acquire Quickflange AS, a Norwegian company that specialises in pipe repair. The acquisition broadens ICR’s portfolio of repair and maintenance services and adds new international markets.
Quickflange is a leading provider of connection solutions for improved pipe integrity and flow assurance, which specialises in weldless repairs. Quickflange is headquartered in Stavanger and has operations in Tvedestrand (Norway), UK, Brazil and Dubai. The company has 40 employees and a turnover of £10 million.
Graphite Capital has sold London Square, the fast-growing London house builder, to Ares Management in a joint investment by its private equity and real estate funds, for an equity value of £110 million.
London Square was founded in April 2010 at the height of the recession, with Graphite backing an industry-leading management team led by Adam Lawrence to focus on sites within the M25.
Graphite Capital won Private Equity Investor of the Year 2014 at the HealthInvestor awards in London.
Graphite Capital has sold Education Personnel, the largest provider of supply teachers and educational support staff to schools in England and Wales, to its management team in a buy-out backed by ICG.
Graphite originally backed the management buy-out of Teaching Personnel in 2010. In a fragmented sector, Graphite, together with the management team, saw the opportunity to develop the business through organic growth and by acquisition.
Graphite Capital has won an award for Small/Mid-Market House of the Year at the Real Deals Private Equity Awards 2014.
Graphite Capital has won award for top UK private equity firm in the Private Equity International Awards 2013. The PEI awards are the only industry awards decided solely by the private equity industry itself.
Graphite Capital has backed the management buy-out of City & County Healthcare Group (C&C), the UK’s fourth largest home care provider, from Sovereign Capital Partners LLP. This is the first investment made from Graphite’s new £500 million fund, Graphite Capital Partners VIII, which closed in October. C&C provides high quality home care assistance, primarily for the elderly. It also provides specialist care services for young people and adults with more complex or long term conditions such as learning disabilities, mental health needs and brain injuries. Operating from 64 branches across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, C&C’s carers provide care to over 15,000 individuals a year, primarily on behalf of local authorities and the NHS, as well as to private clients.
Teaching Personnel, the UK’s third largest provider of supply teachers and support staff to schools, has won the Education Investor Award 2013 for the best ‘Recruitment Service’. Graphite backed the management buy-out of Teaching Personnel in July 2010.
Graphite Capital has sold Park Holidays UK, Britain's fourth largest operator of static caravan parks, to Caledonia Investments, a UK investment trust company, for £172 million.
Park Holidays UK owns 21 freehold and two leasehold caravan parks with nearly 9,000 pitches in southern England. The group sells caravans to owners and hires caravans to holiday makers. The business was founded in 1985 and was acquired by Graphite in a £130 million management buy-in/buy-out in January 2006.
Graphite Capital has closed its eighth fund, Graphite Capital Partners VIII, with commitments of over £500 million. Further commitments are likely to come in over the next few weeks bringing the total to over £500 million. Despite the extremely challenging fund-raising environment, Graphite was able to reach its target relatively quickly.
Graphite Capital won the ‘Mid Market Exit of the Year’ award for the sale of portfolio company NES Global Talent at the 2013 Unquote Private Equity Awards. Graphite backed the management buy-out NES Global Talent, a leading provider of specialist engineers to the global oil and gas, power and infrastructure industries in 2006 and sold the business to AEA Investors in October 2012.
Graphite Capital has sold premium quality elderly care home provider, Willowbrook Healthcare, to the management team with the backing of Health Care REIT Inc., a US healthcare property investor. Willowbrook was established following the success of Avery Healthcare and Optimum Care, two previous Graphite investments backing the same management team, and grew to 13 freehold homes with a total of 880 beds. Graphite provided over £70m of development capital to the three successive companies.
Graphite Capital has backed the management buy-out of Hawksmoor, operator of four successful, high-end steak restaurants in London. Hawksmoor was started by childhood friends, Will Beckett and Huw Gott, who have created a distinctly British steakhouse where the provision of consistently high quality beef and strong customer service are paramount. Graphite’s investment provides an exit for the friends and family investors who had funded Hawksmoor’s early expansion.
Graphite Capital has sold premium quality care home provider, Optimum Care, to Four Seasons Health Care, the UK’s largest independent elderly and specialist care provider. Graphite provided development capital to Optimum from 2007 onwards and grew Optimum to 17 homes with a total of 1,213 beds. Graphite remains committed to the sector through its continuing investment in Willowbrook Healthcare, a sister company to Optimum which is managed by the same senior management team. Willowbrook currently operates 13 premium quality care homes for the elderly which trade under the Avery brand.
Explore Learning, the UK's leading provider of after-school tuition for primary school children, has come 16th in the 2013 Sunday times list of the best companies to work for. Graphite backed the management buy-out of Explore in August 2012.
Graphite Capital has been recognised as one of the top three private equity firms in the UK in the Private Equity International Awards 2012, alongside Hg Capital and Cinven. The PEI awards are the only industry awards decided solely by the private equity industry itself.
Explore Learning, the UK’s leading provider of after-school tuition for primary school children, has won the Education Investor award for Supplementary Education Provider of the Year for the second year running. Graphite backed the management buy-out of Explore in August 2012.
Graphite Capital has sold TileCo Group, the UK’s leading supplier of tile, mosaic and stone products to the residential developer and architectural specification markets. The company’s secondary management buy-out was backed by Alcuin Capital Partners and also supported by funding from the management team and debt provided by Centric Commercial Finance. TileCo trades under two widely recognised and complementary brands, Domus and Surface. The Group is actively involved in a wide variety of premium construction projects within the UK and internationally, including commercial, office, infrastructure and high-end private residential applications.
Graphite Capital, in conjunction with Activa Capital (France), ECM (Germany) and MCH (Spain), has launched the Private Equity Network, (PEN), a pan-European network of four leading mid-market private equity firms. The Private Equity Network brings together the strong local expertise of leading European mid-market firms with the primary aim of building international portfolio companies.
Graphite Capital has sold NES Global Talent, the international technical recruitment group, to funds advised by AEA Investors LP for £234 million. NES places highly skilled contract engineers and project managers with, multi-national clients, principally in the oil and gas industries, and also in the power and infrastructure sectors. It achieves industry leading productivity levels through the rapid identification, placement and on-going support of engineers globally. Graphite backed a management buyout of the business, led by Neil Tregarthen, in September 2006.
Graphite Capital is backing the management buy-out of Explore Learning, the UK’s leading provider of after-school tuition for primary school children. Since opening its first centre in 2001, Explore has grown rapidly and now operates a network of 62 centres nationally, with over 16,000 children currently enrolled as members. The centres provide individualised key skills tuition in mathematics and English to children aged 5 to 14 of all abilities. They also offer additional courses including creative writing, enrichment mathematics and preparation for the 11+ exams.
The Delaunay, a Grand Cafe with a mittel-European theme which opened in December 2011, has won Restaurant of the Year at the prestigious Tatler Restaurant Awards 2012. In April 2012, Graphite Capital invested £21 million into Rex Restaurants, a group which also includes The Wolseley and Brasserie Zedel.
Kurt Geiger, Graphite’s highly successful foray into the world of footwear, has won the British Venture Capital Association’s award for Exit Management Team of the Year. Graphite acquired Kurt Geiger in 2008 and sold the business for £215 million to The Jones Group Inc. in 2011.
Graphite Capital is investing £21 million in Rex Restaurant Associates Limited (Rex), the company owned by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, widely regarded as London’s most successful restaurateurs over the past 30 years. In 2003 they set up Rex and introduced the highly popular all-day dining European Grand Café concept to London with The Wolseley restaurant on Piccadilly, achieving one of the highest turnovers of any individual restaurant in the UK.
National Fostering Agency (NFA) has completed a management buy-out and raised additional expansion capital in a transaction in which Graphite Capital is replacing Sovereign Capital as its principal shareholder. NFA is the UK’s second largest independent children’s fostering agency with 16 offices nationwide.
Jack Langdon has joined Graphite Capital. Previously, he was at Englefield Capital, where he worked on private equity transactions in a number of sectors, predominantly support services and financial services. Jack started his career as a strategy consultant at Oliver Wyman, advising clients in a broad range of geographies and sectors with a focus on financial services. Jack has a first class degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford.
2011 marks Graphite Capital's 30th anniversary! We have remained loyal to UK mid-market private equity throughout these 30 years and completed over 300 transactions in many different industry sectors.
Graphite Capital’s portfolio company, Micheldever Tyre Services, has completed its largest acquisition to date when it bought Tyreland, a substantial multi-outlet tyre retailer based in the South of England. This further increases Micheldever’s geographical coverage and takes the total number of tyre service centres to 61.
Graphite backed the management buy-in/buy-out of Micheldever from founder Tony Todd in February 2006. The business has since grown its turnover by over 65%. It now supplies around six million tyres each year to more than 5,000 tyre centres through a national network of wholesale distribution sites.
Graphite Capital has provided equity funding to enable Teaching Personnel to acquire Protocol Education, creating the leading provider of supply teachers and support staff to schools in England and Wales.
Both businesses provide short and long term temporary teachers, teaching assistants and nursery staff, primarily to English and Welsh primary and secondary schools, as well as to Academies and other specialist schools, including those serving special educational needs.
In March 2011 Graphite Capital sold its remaining stake in Wagamama when the majority owner, Lion Capital, disposed of the business to Duke Street and Hutton Collins. Graphite first invested in Wagamama in 1996 to fund the expansion of its chain of noodle restaurants and grew the chain to 50 outlets under its ownership. In 2005 it sold a majority share to Lion Capital in a transaction valued at £103 million. Overall, Graphite Funds made a return of almost 13 times their investment and an IRR of 37 per cent.
Simon May joins Graphite after six years at PwC, most recently as a manager in the Business Recovery Services division where he focused on the manufacturing, distribution and healthcare sectors. He is a chartered accountant and holds a first class degree in mathematics from the University of Bath. As well as working with portfolio companies, Simon will look at investment opportunities and specifically cover the Midlands region.
Graphite Capital’s portfolio company, Micheldever Tyre Services, has completed its largest acquisition to date buying Harris Brothers Tyres, a substantial multi-outlet tyre retailer based in Wales. This further increases Micheldever’s geographical coverage and takes the number of sites acquired since the original transaction to 37.
Graphite backed the management buy-in/buy-out of Micheldever from founder Tony Todd in February 2006. The business has since grown its turnover by over 65%. It now supplies around six million tyres each year to more than 5,000 tyre centres through a national network of wholesale distribution sites.
Graphite Capital has completed the £130 million management buy-out of U-POL, a world leader in automotive refinish products. This is the second time that Graphite has invested in U-POL after backing a management buy-out in 2002 and selling it three years later.
The U-POL brand is recognised around the world for quality and innovation. From its manufacturing facility in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, U-POL supplies professional vehicle bodyshops in over 110 countries worldwide with a broad range of refinish products used in accident repairs. These include body fillers, coatings (primers and clear coats), aerosols, adhesives and polishes as well as complementary products to provide customers with a complete solution. Responding to the needs of different local markets, and with the benefit of its dedicated research and development team, it typically launches around 25 new, high performance products each year.
Graphite and the Teaching Personnel management team plan to develop the business through a combination of organic growth, strategic acquisitions and a broadening of its service offering. Clydesdale Bank Corporate & Structured Finance is providing acquisition finance and working capital facilities. Graphite has acquired a significant majority stake and the management team are re-investing a substantial proportion of their proceeds in the business.
Teaching Personnel supplies teachers, teaching assistants and nursery nurses, both short and long term, to some 4,000 of the 30,000 primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, including those providing for special educational needs.
Graphite Capital is funding the development of London Square, a new house-builder focused on prime sites within Greater London. The company has been formed to capitalise on the recovery in the London housing market.
Graphite will provide up to £50 million of equity capital for a majority share in the new company. Together with a further £50 million of senior bank debt, the total funding package is expected to be £100 million.
Within the next five years, London Square aims to be building 600 homes a year. It will develop a range of schemes with private and affordable housing units at prices ranging from £200,000 to £3 million.
The Third Space, London’s premier health and fitness club, will open its second site at the exclusive Marylebone Hotel in the heart of London’s West End. The £2 million development is scheduled to open in spring 2011 and will be funded by Graphite Capital.
The new club will offer members extensive fitness facilities, expert personal training and advice and a swimming pool. In addition, The Third Space will operate a full service spa at the new location.
The new site marks the beginning of the roll-out of The Third Space clubs across London, and reinforces the brand’s position at the top of the fitness market.
Graphite Capital has completed a further £24 million development capital package to support a major expansion programme by Willowbrook Healthcare, a premium quality nursing and dementia care home group for the elderly.
The new funding takes the total commitment of Graphite funds, the management team and its banking partners to almost £80 million. Willowbrook, whose care homes operate under the Avery brand, will use the new funding to develop and acquire further homes which is expected to increase the total number of beds to over 900 in the next two years.
Graphite Capital has closed Graphite Capital Top-Up Fund Plus, a new £30 million co-investment fund specifically targeted at new investment opportunities. It will invest in selected larger transactions alongside its main fund, Graphite Capital Partners VII (“CPVII”).
CPVII closed heavily over-subscribed in May 2007 with total commitments of £555 million, including a separate £80 million co-investment fund.
Graphite Capital’s portfolio company, Integrity Software, has completed the acquisition of Mardak Limited, a provider of accounting and management software solutions to the construction sector. The acquired business will form part of Integrity's Construction Division and complement its flagship product, Evolution.
Graphite backed the management buy-out of Integrity Software in July 2005. In addition to its range of construction software products, Integrity provides software solutions to the Salon & Spa and distribution sectors.
Graphite Capital has added to its growing investment team with the appointment of Rachael Whittaker as investment manager.
Rachael joins Graphite from Cognetas, where she was an investment associate focusing on healthcare and financial services. She began her career as an associate with LEK Consulting in London and Sydney, working on private equity due diligence, corporate M&A and post transactional strategy implementation across a wide range of sectors and geographies.
Graphite Capital’s portfolio company, Kurt Geiger, has substantially expanded its UK market share, signing a seven-year license and distribution agreement with Nine West and Easy Spirit beginning with Spring 2010 product lines.
The company has also expanded its department store coverage, adding Debenham’s and a number of further Fenwick’s stores to its distribution network. In parallel, the chain of Kurt Geiger branded solus stores is growing fast, with a further twelve stores scheduled to open in the current financial year. The company reported strong like-for-like growth in the year following the management buy-out.
Graphite Capital has acquired a majority stake in Performance Window Group (PWG) with the aim of building a substantial and diversified timber building products business. Graphite is backing a highly experienced management team led by Roy Wakeman and Mark de Rozarieux.
Graphite previously backed Wakeman and de Rozarieux in the Management buy-out of LS Group, the high performance door manufacturer.
Wakeman formed PWG in 2006 and soon after acquired Mumford & Wood, a manufacturer of high-quality timber windows. Part of Graphite’s investment will fund the group’s acquisition of Oxford-based TimberWindows.com, a fast-growing internet-based distributor of timber windows.
Graphite Capital is providing significant equity capital to fund the development of Willowbrook Healthcare, a premium quality care home group for the elderly, as part of a £53 million development capital package.
Willowbrook is a new company formed in partnership with the highly experienced care home management team of John Strowbridge, Ian Matthews and Roger Storey.
Graphite's portfolio company Dominion Gas has completed the acquisition of Argon Isotank in a deal valued at more than £4 million. The deal will see Dominion Gas expand products and services into the liquid, chemical and acid tank business both in the UK and internationally.
Dominion Gas is Scotland’s only oil field service company. Until now it has focused exclusively on supplying the full range of diving, welding, industrial, laboratory, test and calibration gases.
The acquisition was supported by Graphite Capital and RBS, both of which backed the Dominion Gas management buy-out last year and its subsequent acquisition of Global Gas Supplies.
Dominion Gas has been voted the "Best MBO in Scotland" as part of the Deals & Dealmakers Awards Ceremony on 3 September in Glasgow.
Launched in 1998, the Scottish Business Insider Deals & Dealmakers Awards were created to recognise and reward the valuable corporate finance expertise which exists in Scotland and the significant contribution it makes to this country’s economy. The Awards recognise exceptional achievement by Scottish companies and individuals who lead Scotland’s corporate finance market place, based on deals completed in the previous year.
Graphite Capital acquired Dominion Gas in an MBO from its founders in 2007 and expanded the business through the acquisition of Global Gas Supplies, a large Scottish competitor.
Graphite Capital has sold Summit Medical to The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm.
Summit designs, produces and distributes world class medical devices and accessories primarily in the orthopaedic sector. Its products deliver clinical and economic advantages to individual patients and medical practitioners as well as private and public health services in the UK and in over 30 export markets, including the USA and continental Europe.
Graphite Capital has backed the acquisition by Park Holidays UK of the Golden Sands and Peppermint holiday parks in Dawlish Warren, Devon.
With these purchases, and further acquisitions last year at Dawlish, Paignton, and Brixham, Park Holidays UK has added six new parks since Graphite backed its £130 million management buy-in/buy-out in January 2006.
Park Holidays UK is the largest holiday home and caravan park operator in the south of England with sites in Essex, Kent, East and West Sussex, Suffolk, Dorset, Hampshire and Devon. It now operates 25 family holiday parks with pitches for over 11,000 caravans and chalets.
Graphite Capital has backed the £95 million management buy-out of Kurt Geiger, Europe’s foremost luxury branded shoe retailer, from Barclays Private Equity.
Kurt Geiger, which was voted ‘Coolest Shoe Brand’ by Vogue readers in 2007, sells its own and third party premium and luxury footwear brands such as Prada, Gucci and Jimmy Choo, through a wide range of channels.
Graphite Capital-backed Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS) is buying Capital Consulting, consolidating AMS’ leading position in the European market for recruitment process outsourcing (RPO). AMS is the largest independent provider of RPO solutions to ‘blue-chip’ companies worldwide and Capital Consulting is the number two player in the UK market behind AMS.
Graphite Capital sold Applied Energy, which manufactures and distributes a range of ventilation, heating and water heating products under the Xpelair, Creda and Redring brands, to Glen Dimplex for an undisclosed sum.
Graphite led the £24 million management buy-out of Cambridgeshire-based Applied Energy from a joint venture company owned by GE and Marconi in December 2001. Since then, managing director John Lee and his team have turned the business around, rejuvenated the product portfolio, created new routes to market and grown sales by nearly 38 per cent to £51.5 million.
Graphite Capital has backed the £22 million acquisition by Dominion Gas of Global Gas Supplies. The deal is the first step in the international expansion strategy outlined in June when Graphite backed the management buy-out of Dominion Gas, the independent supplier of industrial gases to the offshore industry.
Graphite Capital has backed the management buy-out of one of London’s premier health and fitness clubs, The Third Space Group, for £22 million. Membership has grown to nearly 4,300 since June 2001 when Longshot, under chief executive Joel Cadbury, founded The Third Space in Soho, near Piccadilly Circus.
Graphite Capital has sold Go Plant, the specialist vehicle hire group, for an undisclosed sum to Easternrange, a private investment vehicle.
A market leader, Go Plant operates a fleet of over 1,000 specialist vehicles including road sweepers, refuse vehicles and gully clearing machines. From 20 depots across the UK, Go Plant supplies vehicles either for self-hire or with drivers to local authorities, house builders, road maintenance providers and other industrial businesses.
Graphite Capital has sold its majority shareholding in Avery Healthcare to Southern Cross Healthcare Group.
The deal values Avery, which owns and operates premium care homes for the elderly, at £96.5 million. Southern Cross is buying 16 of Avery’s 21 care homes and is also acquiring the management team’s shareholding.
2006 marks Graphite Capital's 25th anniversary! We have remained loyal to UK mid-market private equity throughout these 25 years and completed some 300 transactions in many different industry sectors.
In September 2006 Graphite Capital funded the £86 million management buy-out of the NES Group from its founders and Bridgepoint, the private equity group.
NES is a fast growing global technical recruitment business providing professionally qualified contract staff to blue chip clients across the world in the oil and gas, infrastructure, rail and power sectors. It also has an IT staffing and accredited training operation in the UK.
In May 2006 Graphite Capital backed the £25 million management buy-out of TMP Worldwide from its American parent, Monster Worldwide Inc. TMP Worldwide is the UK and Ireland's leading recruitment communications business. The highly experienced buy-out team includes TMP chief executive Andrew Wilkinson, managing director Jon Porter and finance director Tim Jakob.
As in 2005, Graphite Capital won the Acquisitions Monthly Mid Market Deal of the Year award, this time for its £102 million sale of Wagamama, the Japanese noodle restaurant chain, to Lion Capital. Separately, Graphite was presented with the European Venture Capital Journal award for Financial Sponsor of the Year for Mid Sized Funds and was also voted UK Private Equity Firm of the Year by Private Equity Online and Private Equity International.
In February 2006 Graphite Capital backed the management buy-in/buy-out of Micheldever Tyre Services plc, the UK’s largest independent tyre wholesaler and distributor, from founder Tony Todd. The company has expanded significantly since Todd opened the first site at Micheldever Station, Hampshire, in 1972. It now supplies around four million tyres each year to more than 2,500 customers through a national network of wholesale distribution centres.
In January 2006 Graphite Capital backed the £130 million management buy-in/buy-out of Cinque Ports Leisure Ltd, the UK's third largest holiday home and caravan park group. Cinque Ports has built up a group of 19 family holiday parks on the east and south coast which contain pitches for nearly 10,750 caravans and chalets.
In January 2006 Graphite Capital backed the management buy-in/buy-out of sk:n, one of the leading providers of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the UK.
sk:n, the renamed Lasercare Group, has expanded to 18 clinics since it was founded in 1990. They are located mainly in town centres such as Harley Street in London, Bull Street in Birmingham and Gordon Street in Glasgow or in convenient suburban locations in 16 major cities, as well as in NHS hospitals.
Graphite Capital sold U-POL, the UK’s leading automotive refinish products manufacturer, to ABN AMRO Capital in a deal which valued the business at £75 million.
The transaction, which completed in early 2006, provided Graphite with a total return of 3.2 times its investment and an internal rate of return of 55 per cent.
In September 2005 Graphite Capital sold Equanet, the hardware reseller, to DSG Retail Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dixons Stores Group Plc, for an undisclosed sum.
Equanet has performed strongly in exceptionally competitive market conditions since Graphite backed the management buy-out in March 2000. Turnover has grown by 22 per cent to £65.2 million and profit by 35 per cent to £2.4 million.
Graphite has earned a multiple of 2.2 times its £6.3 million investment in the business.
In June 2005 Lion Capital, the private equity investment firm, agreed to buy a controlling stake in Wagamama, the UK's leading noodle bar chain, from its majority shareholder, Graphite Capital.
Under Graphite's ownership Wagamama expanded from two to 50 restaurants in the UK and internationally. The transaction, which completed in July 2005, provided Graphite with a multiple of 10.2 times its investment.