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Although restricted primarily to Bowmark’s existing relationships, the Fund attracted investor demand significantly in excess of its £265 million cap. A total of 23 investors committed to the Fund, including leading institutional investors from Europe and the US, with approximately 80% of the capital coming from previous Bowmark investors. Overall, 30% of the capital was committed by pension funds, 29% by funds-of-funds, 22% by insurance companies, 10% by endowments and family offices, and 9% by investment managers.

Bowmark is one of the most successful private equity firms specialising in smaller UK companies. Led by its Managing Partners, Kevin Grassby and Charles Ind, the firm was originally established in 1997 as Sagitta Private Equity, and was renamed Bowmark Capital following its management buy-out from the Sagitta group in 2004.

The Fund is the successor to Bowmark Capital Partners III, a £105 million fund raised in 2004, which has made nine investments in UK mid-market growth companies and two follow-on investments. Three new investments were completed in 2007, with an average equity investment of £18.5 million (including amounts syndicated to Bowmark-managed co-investment funds).

The Fund will continue Bowmark’s proven strategy of active investment in growth-oriented service companies, typically with enterprise values of up to £75 million. While a range of industries will be considered for investment, the focus will be on five target sectors: business services; leisure; healthcare services; media and IT services. Transactions are expected to include buy-outs, buy-ins, roll-outs, build-ups and later stage development capital opportunities.

Charles Ind, Managing Partner of Bowmark, commented: "We are very grateful for the support we have received from our investors, and especially appreciate their help in enabling the fund-raising process to be completed so rapidly."

Kevin Grassby, Managing Partner of Bowmark, commented: "The success of the fund-raising is a validation of Bowmark’s differentiated investment strategy, and our strong track record of active investment in growth companies. We are delighted that the Fund has attracted some of the most highly regarded international institutions, and we now look forward to redoubling our efforts on generating superior returns for our investors."

Campbell Lutyens & Co. Ltd acted as sole financial adviser and placement agent. SJ Berwin LLP acted as UK legal adviser and Ropes and Gray LLP acted as US legal adviser.

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