Current investments

Company Description Sector Location
Aktrion Provider of managed outsourced solutions Services & Distribution Shropshire
Beck & Pollitzer Provider of industrial machinery installation and relocation services Services & Distribution Kent
City & County Home care services provider Health & Care London
Corbin & King Operator of London restaurants Leisure & Property London
Explore Learning Provider of after-school tuition Education Guildford
Hawksmoor Operator of London restaurants Leisure & Property London
ICR Provider of repair and maintenance services Services & Distribution Aberdeen
New World Trading Co Operator of highly distinctive pub restaurants Leisure & Property Cheshire
nGAGE Provider of recruitment for specialist sectors Services & Distribution London
PTP Group Manufacturer and distributor of timber building products Industrials & Engineering Essex
Random42 Producer of animation and digital media Software & IT Services London
sk:n Chain of non-surgical skin treatment clinics Health & Care Birmingham
The Groucho Club Operator of a private members club Leisure & Property London
TMP Worldwide Provider of recruitment solutions Services & Distribution London
Trenchard Aviation Provider of cabin maintenance services for civil aircraft Industrials & Engineering London
U-POL Manufacturer and distributor of auto refinishing products Industrials & Engineering London

In December 2004 Graphite Capital led the management buy-in/buy-out of Aktrion, a leading UK outsourced service provider to the print, automotive and food sectors.

Aktrion provides outsourced managed services to manufacturing clients, primarily in the printing, automotive and food sectors, in the UK and internationally. The company is a leading supplier to the national newspaper industry and has a strong position providing testing and quality services to UK and European car manufacturers.

Since Graphite’s investment turnover has increased strongly as the business has acquired new customers and expanded into new sectors. In addition, the company has significantly increased its international footprint, establishing a new presence in France, Poland and Slovakia. In 2010 Aktrion acquired a majority interest in a food staffing business, further broadening its industry sector coverage.



Employees worldwide


In  September 2016, Graphite Capital backed the management buy-out of Beck & Pollitzer ("B&P"), with the objective on continuing its succesful international expansion. 

B&P is a market leader in industrial machinery installation and relocation. The business employs over 600 staff across 26 offices in 14 countries.  B&P has a diversified and loyal "blue chip" customer base. The group's activities are currently evenly distributed between Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the UK.

B&P plans to expand into new regions and it has recently won a large contract with an automotive robot manufacturer in North America. B&P has also recently started a substantial project in Iceland in the metals sector. This continues B&P's focus on sector diversification and winning larger, more complex projects.

Graphite plans to support B&P's continued international growth. Graphite and the management team have identified acquisition opportunities in Germany, the largest market globally. Acquisitions would complement B&P's organic growth initiatives in these countires.

Beck & Pollitzer


staff across 26 offices


In December 2013 Graphite Capital led the management buy-out of City & County Healthcare Group (C&C), the UK’s fourth largest independent home care services provider.

C&C was the fourth largest independent provider. Through its national network of 65 branches, C&C recruits and trains carers to deliver high quality care, largely to the elderly. Carers provide assistance with day-to-day tasks to enable people to continue living independently in their own home. Services include routine household tasks, personal care, meal preparation and medicine administration.

C&C has a successful track record of successfully winning new customers and retaining contracts, underpinned by a strong carer recruitment process. It has grown rapidly, both organically and by acquisition. In the period to June 2017 ten acquisitions have been completed and complex care and agency divisions have been established. C&C is now the largest independent home care services provider in the UK.

C&C marks Graphite’s eighth investment in the care sector. There has been considerable investment in the infrastructure. The market, driven by favourable demographic drivers, is large and remains highly fragmented. The company, with Graphite’s support, will continue to make complementary acquisitions, cementing its market leading position.

City & County


Home carers


In April 2012 Graphite invested £19 million in Corbin & King, the company owned by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, widely regarded as London’s most successful restaurateurs over the past 30 years.

Corbin and King have previously been responsible for some of the capital’s most famous restaurants, including Le Caprice, The Ivy and J Sheekey, which they sold in 2003. Following the sale, they set up Corbin & King and introduced the highly popular all-day dining European Grand Café concept to London with The Wolseley. In December 2011, Corbin & King opened The Delaunay in Covent Garden.

Following Graphite’s investment, Corbin & King opened Brasserie Zédel, an all-day Parisian brasserie and bar in Piccadilly Circus. In 2012 the company opened Colbert, a French brasserie on Sloane Square. In 2014 Corbin & King then opened Fischer’s, an Austrian-inspired restaurant in Marylebone and a 5-star boutique hotel, The Beaumont, in Mayfair. It most recent opening is Bellanger, a French brasserie in Islington.

Corbin & King is one of five investments that Graphite has made into the restaurant and bar sector. We have been very involved in site selection, cost management and lease negotiations and have helped the company to raise bank finance to fund its expansion plan. Corbin & King is a regular winner of best restaurant awards and The Beaumont was awarded the Best Hotel in London by The AA in 2017.

Corbin & King


Voted best hotel in London by the AA


In August 2012, Graphite Capital backed the management buy-out of Explore Learning, one of the UK’s leading providers of after-school tuition to children aged between 5 and 14.

Founded by the current management team in 2001, Explore now has a national network of over 125 centres, located in or near supermarkets, shopping centres and high streets, with over 30,000 children enrolled as members. The company focuses on providing high-quality, individualised mathematics and English tuition twice a week to its members as a complement to schooling, fitting around family life.

Explore centres are purpose-built and highly supervised, and provide a fun, vibrant and interactive learning environment. Members work in small groups (of up to six) with each child learning at a workstation that provides individualised tuition resources. The learning materials are a combination of proprietary content and resources developed in conjunction with educational providers. Additional courses include creative writing, and advanced mathematics.

Graphite plans to support Explore in continuing to expand its successful product offering by further growing its network of centres and developing the curriculum provided. Explore has also opened a small number of centres in Dallas, Texas.

Explore Learning

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In July 2013, Graphite Capital completed the management buy-out of Hawksmoor, with the objective of continuing to roll out its highly successful concept of premium steak and neighbourhood restaurants.

Hawksmoor was started in 2006 by two entrepreneurs, Will Beckett and Huw Gott, with the aim of creating a distinctly British steakhouse, providing consistently high-quality steak and outstanding customer service. Prior to Graphite’s investment in 2013, the company had launched four restaurants in Central London, all of which had been extremely successful.

Following Graphite's investment, a fifth Hawksmoor restaurant was opened in Knightsbridge in the summer of 2014 and, in spring 2015, the company successfully opened in Manchester, its first restaurant outside of London. A seventh Hawksmoor has recently been added at Borough Market. The company has also launched a new restaurant concept, Foxlow, with an initial site in Clerkenwell in 2013 followed by sites in Chiswick and Balham in 2015.

Hawksmoor marks Graphite’s third investment in the restaurant sector.  Together with the management team, we have mapped a further roll-out plan for both brands, in the UK and internationally. The company has consistently been listed in the Sunday Times top 100 ‘Best Companies to Work for’, highlighting the emphasis placed on work environment, staff welfare, service delivery and the quality of its food and drink offering.



Number of restaurants


In March 2014 Graphite Capital led the management buy-out of ICR, a group of four businesses providing repair and maintenance services to the energy sector.

Walker, ICR’s largest business, provides engineered composite repairs for pipes. MOSS offers mechanical engineering services for pipeline applications, North East Corrosion Engineers provides corrosion monitoring and Chemical Injection Utilities specialist chemical injection equipment. ICR generates the majority of its revenues in the UK but is also expanding considerably internationally, particularly in the Middle East.

The UK’s energy infrastructure is ageing and requires increasing repair and maintenance. In the UK North Sea, 60% of the 302 offshore installations have operated for more than 20 years, many of them beyond their original design life. In 2013, UK North Sea maintenance spend was c. £8.5 billion compared with £4.0 billion in 2003. Onshore, four of the UK’s ten oil refineries were built before 1940 and the other six were built before 1980. The Middle East is also an attractive market, which has ageing infrastructure across the region.

ICR has a strong reputation for quality and deliverability in a sector with strict health and safety requirements and it has grown rapidly, both organically and by acquisition.



platforms in the North Sea


In June 2016, Graphite Capital completed the management buy-out of The New World Trading Company, an operator of highly distinctive pub restaurants.

NWTC was established in 2011 when the Oast House was opened in Manchester. Following this success, the company opened 15 sites under five brands. Its flagship ‘Botanist’ concept operates from eleven sites, and the ‘Trading House’, ‘Oast House’, ‘Club House’ and ‘Smugglers Cove’ from one each. The company has a flexible offering which appeals to a broad range of consumers and which is successful in both large cities and smaller regional towns.

Following Graphite's investment, four further Botanist sites have been successfully opened in Sheffield, York, Didsbury and Reading. At Graphite’s instigation, the company has implemented a new KPI reporting suite and created a new site assessment methodology. In 2017 the company was listed in the top 10 in the Sunday Times top 100 ‘Best Companies to Work for’ and won six Publican awards.

NWTC is one of five investments that Graphite has made into the restaurant and bar sector. In these investments Graphite is very involved with bank funding, margin improvement, senior management hires, KPI monitoring and site selection. Together with the management team, we have mapped a further roll-out plan for all of the company’s brands. The company is expecting to open between six and seven sites per annum during Graphite’s ownership.

New World Trading Co

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Number of sites


In November 2014 Graphite Capital led the management buy-out of Human Capital Investment Group (HCIG), a fast growing recruitment company which serves a diversified range of sectors.

It provides technical staff to a variety of specialist areas in the UK’s public and private sectors through a number of trading brands.  Since the MBO, the group has continued to invest in these brands and also has created a new corporate identity, nGAGE, which replaces HCIG. 

nGAGE serves a high quality customer base of over 3,000 organisations spread across five core markets including Health & Social Care, Public Sector, Built Environment, Engineering and Professional Services.

The group is positioned between larger generalist recruitment firms and specialist recruitment providers. It provides the best of both worlds and prides itself on being an entrepreneurial corporate. It has a high quality, scalable service platform, which supports the CEO’s of the subsidiary trading brands, allowing them to focus on driving growth whilst benefiting from the strategic direction and operational discipline of the central group.

The company’s exposure to multiple sectors gives it an extremely large addressable market. nGAGE focuses on niche segments within large sectors, where demand for the candidates it supplies, is strongest. Within the public sector, it focuses on frontline services where public funding is relatively protected. Within the private sector, it targets markets where there is a structural skills gap, providing security of demand. 

The team at nGAGE has a powerful reputation for maintaining service excellence, specialist focus and deep-end market expertise.




In February 2009 Graphite provided expansion capital to Performance Timber Products Group (PTP), a company created to acquire leading brands in the timber building products sector.

Graphite invested in PTP Group as it believed that, while the building products sector would be adversely affected by the recession, this would create attractive consolidation opportunities.

PTP had acquired Mumford & Wood, a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality timber windows and doors, in 2006. Our investment enabled it to acquire, the UK’s leading online retailer of timber windows and doors. Graphite provided further equity in 2010 to finance the acquisition of Dale, a timber window supplier to consumers and installers through the builders’ merchant channel. As a result, the group has a strong offering of timber windows and doors across all key distribution channels. PTP has recently made significant investment in its manufacturing and distribution capabilities and is therefore well positioned for future growth both organically and through further acquisition.

PTP Group




In July 2017, Graphite backed the management buy-out of Random42, a leading global 3D and Virtual Reality animation and digital media services provider to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Random42 produces complex, scientific animations to assist pharmaceutical and biotech companies in their interaction with and communication to a wide range of stakeholders. Animations, which are typically in a 3D or Virtual Reality format, are used for educational and promotional purposes throughout the lifecycle of healthcare products, from the pre-clinical stage, through to clinical trials, and as part of product launches and refreshes.

The company employees a combination of highly skilled graphic designers, software developers and scientists, enabling the business to generate high-quality, scientific animations, which demonstrate disease mechanisms and the ways in which molecular medical and pharmaceutical products interact with the human body. The company works directly with the majority of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies worldwide, including AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck, Novartis, Roche and Sanofi and with relationships across Europe, the US and Asia.

Graphite plans to support Random42 in its continued professionalisation and international expansion. With scalable account management and an active marketing strategy, there is significant scope for deeper customer and market penetration. We also believe there are exciting opportunities to diversify into adjacent markets, capitalising on the company’s historical success of combining scientific knowledge with outstanding media content production.


assets/images/casestudies_icons/random42 image.jpg

top pharmaceutical companies they directly work with


In January 2006 Graphite led the management buy-in/buy-out of sk:n, the UK’s leading chain of non-surgical skin treatment clinics.

sk:n is a nationwide chain of clinics offering a range of non-surgical skin and cosmetic treatments including laser-based treatments for hair removal and skin rejuvenation. The company operates in a fragmented market, which is growing strongly. sk:n has a highly professional and clinical approach which allows it to offer the very highest standards of care in the non-surgical part of the cosmetic treatment industry.

Graphite introduced an experienced buy-in management team at the outset of the transaction to enable the business to pursue rapid growth. sk:n is pursuing a roll-out strategy and, since Graphite’s investment, has grown from 17 clinics to 41 through a combination of new site openings and acquisitions. Substantial investment has been made in strengthening the brand as well as in developing and professionalising the operational model, including sk:n’s customer acquisition and retention strategies. In addition, under Graphite's owership sk:n has launched its own-label skin care products, an industry wide training accademy and a laser servicing division.



Clinics nationwide


In June 2006, Graphite led the management buy-out of The Groucho Club, the UK's best known arts members' club. In June 2015, Graphite partially realised its investment as part of a secondary buy-out, which saw new investors joining the shareholder structure.

The Groucho Club is based in the Soho area of London, where it was founded in 1985. Its members are prominent in areas such as film, art, music and politics. As the original arts members’ club, the Groucho Club has a high-quality and loyal membership base that offers a resilient business model.

Graphite originally invested in the Groucho Club in 2006. Under our ownership, the club has undergone a series of major refurbishments. These have included an upgrade to all bedrooms, modernisation of the dining areas and the addition of both a terrace and a screening room. Graphite has also supported substantial investment in strengthening the Groucho brand in preparation for further expansion and roll-out.‘Pop-up’ clubs were successfully opened in Rio de Janeiro, Ibiza and at the Hay Literary Festival.During Graphite’s ownership, the club has successfully grown its membership base and club visits are at an all-time high.

In June 2015, Graphite made a partial divestment, with a number of institutional and private investors joining the capital structure. Graphite Enterprise Trust, the investment trust managed by Graphite Capital, rolled over its existing investment and will remain a significant shareholder in the club.

The transaction has provided funding to open a second club in New York.

The Groucho Club


Members from the Arts and Media


In May 2006, Graphite Capital led the £27 million management buy-out of TMP Worldwide, the UK’s largest recruitment employer brand & communication’s agency, from the company’s American parent, Monster Worldwide.

TMP provides clients with a wide range of resourcing solutions, from Employer Branding to multi-channel integrated recruitment marketing solutions. Other services include candidate management, assessment and recruitment process outsourcing, with a specialist team focusing on Graduate and Apprentice recruitment. The business has long-standing relationships with over 1,000 customers, including FTSE 100 companies, local government organisations and central government agencies. TMP employs over 350  staff in six offices throughout the UK.

Since Graphite’s investment, the senior management team has been strengthened significantly. The company has made considerable investments in upgrading systems, facilities and office premises to increase productivity and improve client service. It has also broadened the range of services offered, in particular increasing its direct recruitment capabilities. In February 2011, TMP acquired the advertising and resourcing business of Tribal Resourcing, a competitor focussed on public sector recruitment. This acquisition has further enhanced TMP’s recruitment profile in the public sector. Also within TMP Worldwide’s portfolio of services is TMP Magnet, a distinct brand and the UK’s largest directory advertising business, providing customers with diversification into new and innovative digital channels.

TMP Worldwide


Long-standing customers


In November 2015 Graphite Capital established Aero Technics Group (ATG), a consolidation vehicle in the cabin maintenance segment of the civil aviation aftermarket. 

Trenchard was established in November 2015 to consolidate the cabin maintenance segment of the civil aviation aftermarket. With funding from Graphite, Trenchard completed two acquisitions at the time of the initial investment, Aero-Technics and Airbase. Since then, the group has acquired Servecorp and Reheat.

Aero-Technics mainly provides maintenance services for aircraft seats, which includes the repair of foams, trays, covers and mechanical parts. Most of these services are delivered in the hangar of the airline’s base airport as part of required six-weekly checks.

Airbase also provides seat repair and maintenance services, focusing on the dry cleaning, repair and maintenance of seat covers as part of a more comprehensive overhaul at specialist facilities.

Servecorp designs and manufactures life vest pouches ("LVPs"), which are fitted to new or existing seats. Reheat provides repair and maintenance services for galley equipment, in particular coffee makers and ovens.

The civil aviation market is large, resilient and growing with high barriers to entry. The cabin maintenance segment is very fragmented, airlines are increasingly focused on more regular and preventative maintenance solutions to reduce the length of time an aircraft is out of service. They are also keen to rationalise their supplier base.

Trenchard currently has operations on or near the airports at Manchester, Dubai, Heathrow and Gatwick and a customer base that spans many leading airlines. Graphite plans to support Trenchard to acquire complimentary cabin maintenance businesses.

Trenchard Aviation


Acquisitions completed


In September 2010 Graphite led the £130 million buy-out of U-POL, a leading independent manufacturer and distributor of branded automotive refinishing products.

U-POL manufactures and markets refinish products (primarily body fillers, coatings and aerosols) for the global automotive aftermarket.  The company has an enviable reputation for product quality and innovation. U-POL is the market leader in the UK and has strong, growing positions in the US, the Far East, the Middle East, Africa and Russia as well as other overseas territories.

Since Graphite’s investment, both the executive and non-executive elements of U-Pol’s board have been strengthened, bringing a broader strategic vision and previous experience of working with larger customers across a variety of distribution channels and geographies.

After a full re-branding, U-POL is targeting to expand into new sectors and channels. Its multi-purpose protective coating product in particular offers significant further growth potential. The product portfolio is increasingly being positioned to deliver solutions to the end-user. The company has also recruited overseas sales personnel and invested in research and development to facilitate further international expansion with new products.



Countries U-POL sells to