Bowmark makes 4x cash from Living Ventures

The UK mid-market private equity firm has delivered a 45 percent IRR from the sale of its minority stake in the bar and restaurant chain operator.

Bowmark Capital, formerly known as Sagitta Private Equity, has sold its 30 percent interest in bar and restaurant operator Living Ventures to The Restaurant Group (TRG) as part of a £26 million (€38 million; $49 million) deal that saw TRG acquire an additional ten percent stake from Living Ventures’ founders Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts.

In a reciprocal deal, Living Ventures has purchased the Est Est Est restaurant chain from TRG for an undisclosed sum.

Bowmark said the sale of its stake represented a return of 3.9 times cost on its investment and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 45 percent.

Living Ventures operates a chain of 15 casual dining restaurants and piano bars – 11 of which trade as The Living Room, two as Prohibition bars and a further two as Bar & Grill.

Since Bowmark invested in the company in April 2001, it has helped the firm grow from two sites to 15, whilst EBITDA has increased from £500,000 to £3.3 million for the year ended March 2005.

Previously known as Sagitta Private Equity, Bowmark gained independence from former parent company Sagitta Asset Management last year and changed its name to Bowmark in January 2005. The firm closed its third fund on £105 million in February 2004 and targets buyouts, buy-ins, rollouts, build-ups and expansion capital in the business services, leisure, healthcare, media and IT sectors.