Better Capital inks second deal

The Jon Moulton-led firm is investing £13m in the UK business of Reader's Digest, an investment that will pull the business out of administration.

Better Capital, the firm launched late last year by Alchemy Partners founder Jon Moulton, has forged its second-ever deal, investing £13 million in the UK arm of Reader's Digest.

Better capital targets investment in distressed UK businesses.

Moulton founded Better Capital in December after a public and acrimonious split with his former firm. The firm's debut deal was the £20 million acquisition of European aerospace supplier Gardner Group in February from The Carlyle Group.

The recent deal secures the future of Reader’s Digest’s business, which went into administration in February because of significant UK pension liabilities. Following the transaction the new company will have no bank debt. Reader’s Digest’s management team will be led by managing director Chris Spratling. The business consists of 100 people and is a marketer of magazines, books, music, and video products.

Better raised £142 million late last year for a publily listed vehicle.

Moulton, who founded Alchemy in 1997 along with Martin Bolland and Eric Walters, was previously at Apax Partners, which he left after a falling out with the firm’s co-founder, Ronald Cohen. Before Apax, Moulton had been the head of Schroder Ventures, now Permira, between 1985 and 1994.

He began his career in private equity with Citicorp Venture Capital, which later became CVC Capital Partners.