Graphite Capital backs £23m energy buyout

The UK private equity firm, formerly known as Foreign & Colonial Ventures, has backed the MBO of Applied Energy Products, maker of heating and ventilation products.

Graphite Capital, the UK private equity firm, has backed the £23m management buyout of Applied Energy Products. The buyout is from GDA Holdings, which in turn was sold off by Marconi and General Electric late last year.

While the exact terms of the half equity, half debt deal have not been disclosed, Graphite contributed half the sum from funds it manages including its Graphite Enterprise Trust. The Bank of Scotland supplied the debt, said Perry Chapman, a partner at the firm.

Graphite now intends to “reinvigorate” the company’s core brands through increased sales and marketing efforts, Chapman added, referring to the company’s Creda, Xpelair, and Redring names. “We believe the company has good growth potential based on these brands and the strong management. Indeed without this team there is no way we would have looked at the deal,” he said.

Graphite Capital has around £500m worth of funds under management. Its other investments in the manufacturing industry include KM Office Furniture and Leaderflush and Shaplanz, a company that makes industrial doors. The last deal the firm made was in September 2001, when it backed the the £16.5m MBO of Summit Medical, the medical devices company.