Foresight strengthens MBO team

The UK-based private equity firm specialising in management buyouts has recruited former 3i executive Sonia Powar. The firm said its deal flow has nearly quadrupled in the past 12 months.

Foresight has appointed Sonia Powar as an investment director in a move to augment its management buyout team.

Powar joins Foresight following eight years as part of 3i’s London buyout team.

During her time at 3i, Powar was involved in projects including the $800 million buyout of Dockwise, a Dutch vessel transportation company, and 3i’s €95 million investment in Paperpak, a supplier of incontinence products.

Before joining 3i in 1999, Powar worked for three years at Pricewaterhouse Coopers as a supervisor in the auditing and business advisory division, for clients such as Marks and Spencer, Royal and Sun Alliance and Queens Moat Houses.

Foresight typically invests up to £5 million per MBO transaction for companies worth around £20 million.

“This is an exciting time in the smaller buyout space, with a good flow of investment opportunities even in the current climate,” Donald Maclennan, leader of Foresight’s MBO team, said in a statement.

Maclennan added that Foresight’s deal flow has almost quadrupled in the last 12 months, and that Powar’s presence will be valuable in what he predicts will be an “active” 2009.

Foresight has a portfolio of more than 50 unquoted companies, across sectors including environmental infrastructure, technology, media and telecoms, support services and manufacturing. Its recent deals include the purchase of Global Immersion, which provides planetariums and immersive theatres; the acquisition of Heritage House Media, a media company; and the buyout of Datapath, a supplier of graphics cards.

Foresight has approximately £200 million under management.