Deal round-up 08/09/03

ISIS invests in Martin Audio; Primary Capital backs Yo! Sushi buyout; Pi Capital backs Burgundy Global; AdAstra, Earlybird invest in Asyntis; 3i leads Intuwave third round

ISIS invests in Martin Audio


ISIS Equity Partners has completed a management buyout of Martin Audio Ltd, a company that designs and distributes speaker systems for theatre productions. Martin Audio is based in High Wycombe and employs 40 staff. The company’s turnover in 2002 was approximately £10m.


Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, although Royal Bank of Scotland has provided debt and working capital facilities to support the transaction. Kevin Whittle, portfolio director in ISIS Equity Partners' portfolio management team, has been appointed to the MA board to represent ISIS.


Primary Capital backs Yo! Sushi buyout


Primary Capital has backed a £10m management buyout of UK-based Japanese cuisine restaurant group Yo! Sushi. Primary’s investment includes a £3.5m development capital funding for restaurant investment and roll-out and Primary will make further funds available as and when required for the company’s growth.


The chain of 14 restaurants founded by Simon Woodroffe in 1997 will continue to be led by its chief executive, Robin Rowland, and fellow directors Zoë Tindall and Gary Thomas. Woodroffe will retain a significant stake and remains involved in the business as a non-executive director.


Yo! Sushi is the sixth investment from Primary’s second fund, Primary Capital II, which closed in March 2002 at £100m.


Pi Capital backs Burgundy Global


Pi Capital, the UK-based investor club, has made a £1.8m second round investment in Burgundy Global, a ground transport solution provider. The directors of Burgundy intend to use the proceeds of this transaction to supplement the company’s strategy for growth, both organically and by acquisition.


Burgundy has a number of blue chip clients, including Bloomberg, Unilever, Pfizer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, British Midland, Diageo, Oracle and Citibank.


The deal consolidates Pi Capital’s previous investment in Burgundy, having led the Company’s first external fundraising in September 2000 of £5.3m. eTechnology VCT and other existing shareholders will also participate in this round.


AdAstra, Earlybird invest in Asyntis


AdAstra, a Munich-based independent venture capital firm with E100m under management, has led a E4m second round of financing for Asyntis, a German supplier of plasma etch equipment for semiconductor manufacturing. Earlybird, also based in Munich, invested in the round, adding to a E2m investment the firm made in July 2002. The funds are being used to expand the company’s product portfolio and to increase its presence in its markets.


3i leads Intuwave third round


A group of international venture capital firms have backed a third round of financing for Intuwave, a mobile software specialist based in Maidenhead, England.


3i Group, GIMV, Sum International and NIF Ventures have together invested $4.5m which will be used primarily to take the company’s product range to market. The funds will also support Intuwave through to cash flow break even early in 2004, according to company CEO Ariel Gorfung. The company increased its revenues from £867,000 in 2002 to £2.56m in 2003.