FF&P holds first close

Family office-backed FF&P PE has held a first close for its latest private equity “club” fund, with which it hopes to help plug a perceived funding gap for smaller companies in the UK.

FF&P Private Equity, the private equity arm of asset manager Fleming Family & Partners, has held a first close for its third fund having garnered £47 million in commitments. The firm declined to reveal a target size for the fund, which it began raising last July.

The fund has attracted 55 private investors and one institutional LP, the firm said in a statement. No placement agent was used.

The capital will be used to invest in growth companies in the UK, supplying development capital or funding small buyouts. Equity investments will range between £3 million and £10 million, it said, with LPs given the chance to co-invest alongside the firm.

FF&P said the fund would remain open to new investors for up to a further 12 months.

David Barbour, co-Head of FF&P PE, said: “This is a uniquely interesting time in the cycle to be investing in small to mid-sized companies.  Private equity funds which have invested in economic downturns, as in 1991 to 1993 and 2000 to 2003, have historically produced superior returns.  We see some really attractive opportunities, for companies that need expansion capital, amongst distressed sales by conglomerates, for sound businesses with inappropriate capital structures and amongst consolidators in unfashionable sectors.”

Henry Sallitt, fellow co-head, added: “Our network gives us strong proprietary deal flow, and also access to a broad range of successful entrepreneurs and business people who have relevant commercial expertise, access to capital and valuable industry knowledge and networks, all of which can be enormously valuable to portfolio companies. Many of our investors want to be actively involved and our co-investment structure gives them an additional opportunity to do so.”