Ex-Fidelity execs spin out

Three members of Fidelity's former buyout division have set up shop in London.

A group of former senior executives from Fidelity Equity Partners – the now obsolete buyout division of the global fund management firm – have established London-based Canter Equity Partners.

Canter comprises three members of Fidelity’s former European buyout team: Sebastian McKinlay, managing partner, and Stephen Findlay and Paul Egan, both partners. The firm will continue the strategy pursued at Fidelity by targeting lower mid-market deals in the UK and Ireland with a focus on the services sector.

Fidelity shut down its fledgling buyout division because of the lack of debt financing in the market for

Sebastian McKinlay

investments, a spokesman for the firm told PEO at the time. The global firm had committed $500 million of capital to the venture, of which around $120 million had been invested from its bases in Boston and London.

The only former member of Fidelity Equity Partners to be kept on by its parent company was the buyout shop’s chief Rob Ketterson, who continues to run its VC division Fidelity Ventures.

Before Fidelity shuttered its buyout division in June this year, the European team – which was established in 2007 – had executed two deals. Last summer, it agreed a £33 million (€39 million; $54 million) secondary buyout of Picsolve International, a photographic systems provider for amusement parks. In March 2008, it paid £18.5 million for a minority stake in Complinet, a provider of online regulatory solutions for financial firms.

Canter will continue to advise Fidelity and maintain its board seats on its two residual European assets.

Canter will make new investments from an annual vintage fund targeted primarily at a select group of family offices and high net worth individuals. This may transition into a typical multi-year fund in two to three years time, Stephen Findlay told PEO in a telephone interview.

Law firm Osborne Clarke advised on the spin-out.