Graphite Capital agrees Range deal

The former F&C Ventures division is to lead the public-to-private acquisition of the UK-listed oven manufacturer in a £22m deal.

UK mid-market investor Graphite Capital is to lead a management buyout of UK oven manufacturer Range Cookers after the two sides agreed the details of a £22m offer to take the company private.

The offer, which values each Ranger Cookers share at 18 pence, is slightly below the indicative offer of 20 pence made in February, when retail investor Robin Russell announced his intention to take the company private. Graphite was the initial partner of choice for the transaction, but the firm lost its exclusivity for the deal in August after protracted negotiations over price.


Reports during the summer had suggested that Aga Foodservices was planning to tender a rival offer for the Range, which sells Italian-made ovens to UK customers, thought to be in the region of £30m.


In the financial year ended 30 April 2002, Range achieved turnover of £15.4m and profit after tax of just above £3m, both up on the previous year’s results.  


Graphite Capital is the former F&C Ventures division of the Foreign & Colonial Group, which was acquired through a management buyout in early 2001. The firm specialises in mid-market buyout transactions, the most recent of which was the £23m management buyout of GDA Applied Energy Limited. The firm’s sixth private equity fund was closed in August 1999 at £183m and is now in its third year of investment.