Bowmark enjoys another lightning fundraise

The UK firm raised £375m in just 10 weeks - mostly from existing LPs.

Bowmark Capital, a UK lower mid-market firm, has closed its fifth fund on its £375 million cap after less than three months in market – its second rapid fundraise in a row.

The firm said it enjoyed investor demand “significantly in excess” of its cap for the new vehicle, Bowmark Capital Partners V. This allowed it to get to a first and final close without having to develop any new LP relationships.

Ninety percent of the capital came from investors who had previously committed to Bowmark funds, the firm added.

The new fund has 22 LPs in total, one fewer than the previous fund. Just under half of the capital came from continental Europe, with a further 8 percent from UK investors. More than a third came from North American LPs, illustrating the strength of appetite for the UK lower mid-market in that region.

Kevin Grassby, the firm's joint managing partner, said the fundraise was a “validation of Bowmark’s growth-oriented investment strategy, and of the quality of the management teams we have backed which have delivered outstanding performance during a challenging period for the UK economy”.

The firm's previous fund, Bowmark Capital Partners IV, closed in January 2008 with commitments of £265 million – again, after just three months in market. It has since made eight investments, including bar group Drake & Morgan and fertility services provider CARE.

Bowmark said it would continue its strategy of “active investment in growth-oriented service companies, typically with enterprise values of up to £100 million”. It added that it would consider “a range of industries”, but with a particular “focus” on healthcare, education, business services, consumer and leisure, IT services and media.

Grassby and fellow managing partner Charles Ind originally established the firm in 1997 as Sagitta Private Equity. It was renamed Bowmark Capital following its management buy-out from the Sagitta group in 2004.

As with the previous fund, King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin provided UK legal advice, while Ropes and Gray provided US legal advice.