UK-based ECI Partners has lost one of its partners, Chris Warren, to Charterhouse Capital, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Warren, who has been with ECI for ten years, will leave the firm this autumn, the source said. Warren’s portfolio and marketing responsibilities have been transferred to other members of the team, an ECI spokesperson confirmed. Real Deals reported on the move earlier. It is unclear what Warren’s official title and responsibilities will be at Charterhouse.
Charterhouse was unavailable for comment at press time.
News of Warren’s planned departure from ECI coincides with the firm’s public listing of convenience store group Conviviality Retail on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing companies. The IPO generated a 4.5x return multiple, according to a statement, and is the largest IPO exit by a corporate on AIM so far this year, according to ECI.
ECI invested in Conviviality Retail in 2006. The business, which has a significant presence in the North West of England, has over 600 franchisee-owned stores.
Earlier this month, ECI sold CliniSys Group, a European IT provider for clinical laboratories, to UK-based Montagu Private Equity, netting ECI a 2.5x return.
Following the IPO of Conviviality Retail, ECI’s £255 million Fund 8, a 2005-vintage, has sold seven of its twelve portfolio companies.
“We are comfortable with where we are getting to”, ECI’s investor relations partner Jeremy Lytle told Private Equity International in a previous interview, adding that there would be more exits to come in the next six to 12 months.
ECI is currently investing its £437 million ECI 9 vehicle, a 2008 vintage, which is approximately 65 percent deployed. The firm may return to the fundraising trail next year, Lytle said.
“If we hit the milestones of a couple of more deals to get us to about 75 percent, then there’s a high possibility [we will return to the market next year].”