Close Brothers spins out remaining private equity unit

The European investment banking group has parted company with the last of its direct investment teams, having earlier spun out its mid-market and venture units.

Three executive directors of Close Growth Capital have acquired the business and spun out from parent company Close Brothers Group, a statement from the newly independent firm said this morning.

The new entity, which focuses on small-and medium-sized UK businesses, will be known as Growth Capital Partners. Bill Crossan, who founded Close Growth Capital in 1999, will lead the firm alongside Garrett Curran, who joined the firm in 2001 from PWC, and former 3i executive James Blake, who joined the firm in 2005.

James Black,
Bill Crossan,
Garrett Curran

Growth Capital Partners typically invests £5 million to £50 million in management buy-outs, development capital and secondary or tertiary buy-outs.

Until last year Close Brothers, the independent investment banking group, had three captive private equity divisions: Close Brothers Private Equity, Close Growth Capital and Close Ventures. Over the course of a year all three have now broken away.

Close Brothers Private Equity – the mid-market-focused team – spun out from its banking parent in December to become CBPE Capital. Close Ventures – a manager of Venture Capital Trusts – spun out in January and now operates as Albion Ventures under the leadership of managing partner Patrick Reeve.

Close Brothers Group also divested Close Brothers Corporate Finance – the firm’s advisory arm – in May. The business, which is an active advisor among mid-market private equity firms, was acquired for £75 million by Japanese investment bank Daiwa Securities.