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Exponent invests in recruitment publisher

The London-based investor, founded by former 3i executives, has made its fourth investment from its vintage 2004 £400m debut fund.

London-based investor Exponent Private Equity has made an undisclosed investment in Group GTI, an Oxfordshire, UK-based graduate recruitment publisher and online application systems provider.
 
GTI is Exponent’s fourth investment from its debut fund, Exponent Private Equity Partners, which closed with £400 million (€585 million; $739 million) of commitments in 2004.
 
Barclays Bank provided debt for the GTI transaction.
 
Exponent said the initial investment will be used to help fund the growth of the business into UK, Irish, French and German markets. The firm was not immediately available for comment.
 
As part of the transaction, Exponent has introduced John Weeks as chairman. Weeks, former chief executive and current chairman at information publisher Mintel Information Group, will work alongside GTI’s founders Mark Blythe and Adrian Wood.
 
Established by Blythe and Wood in 1998, GTI provides careers information to graduates and postgraduates through sector-specific printed titles, online products and events in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Malaysia and Singapore.
 
The business publishes over 90 paper titles a year, including the Target family of careers publications and the doctorjob and gradireland titles. In Germany, GTI trades under the Staufenbriel brand.
 
Earlier this month, Exponent acquired UK online publishing group Magicalia in a secondary buyout from venture capital backers including Matrix Private Equity and Atlas Venture for £13 million.
 
Exponent Private Equity Partners made its debut investment in October 2005 with the purchase of the TSL Education business from News International for £235 million. In April of this year, the fund acquired Discovery Group, which trades as Durrant Media Monitoring, from August Equity, formerly Kleinwort Capital, in an £82 million transaction.
 
Exponent was founded in August 2004 by former 3i executives Tom Sweet-Escott, Richard Campin, Hugh Richards and Chris Graham. The firm currently has 10 investment professionals and is based in Covent Garden, London.