ANTS boosts Hutton Collins

Hutton Collins has received its first investment with the E115m commitment from Abbey National Treasury Sevices.

Hutton Collins, the new acquisition capital firm established by Graham Hutton and Matthew Collins, has secured a cornerstone for its new fund that will specialise in mezzanine and specialty financing.

Abbey National Treasury Services (ANTS) has committed E115m to the fund representing a sizeable chunk of the fund target of E600m. As part of the commitment, ANTS will receive a minority interest in the management company. The decision to make a significant commitment to the firm is a boost to Hutton Collins' fundraising effort.

Abbey National’s private equity business has to date invested £700m across a range of 70 third-party funds in the past few years. The bank is also a significant investor in high yield debt and leveraged products. In early April, reports suggested that Abbey National was considering a staged retreat from private equity, either by way of an outright disposal or a securitisation of the firm’s private equity investments.

A spokesperson for Hutton Collins confirmed that the firm was in business with ANTS but declined to make any further comment.

In a further sign that Hutton Collins, which was founded in February 2002, is moving forward fast, the firm has announced the appointment of Dominic Barbour as its finance director. Barbour joins after seven years at Botts & Company, the London-based private equity house.