Langholm to hit fundraising trail

UK mid-market firm Langholm Capital will begin formal marketing of its second fund later this year, according to one investor, who expects the fund to double in size to about €500m.

Langholm Capital, a mid market buyout firm focusing on high growth consumer sectors, has begun sounding out investors for its second fund, which it will begin formally marketing in the second quarter of 2007.

An investor in the firm’s 2002 €225 million fund said: “Its success with Just Retirement makes this a smart time to open dialogue. They have proved the model and strategy and could comfortably shoot for a €500 million ($655 million) fund.”

Langholm floated Just Retirement, a UK life assurance group, at the beginning of December 2006. It sold about 25 percent of its shareholding for just under £25 million (€37 million; $29 million), covering the cost of its original investment of £24.5 million, made in August 2004.

Its remaining stake of a little over 60 percent is worth more than £300 million.

The investor said Langholm, which is headed by partners Bert Wiegman and Christian Lorenzen, was keen to widen its investor base for its second fund and to dilute the amount committed by UK consumer goods manufacturer Unilever, which has a 40 percent stake in the current fund.

Unilever, as one of a number of strategic partnerships the buyout firm counts on to add value to its portfolio firms, will remain central to its investment strategy.

Its relationships with Rabobank and Fortis, two financial services groups and both investors in Langholm’s first fund, were key to the development of Just Retirement.

The investor said Langholm would continue focusing on its four investment themes of health and well being; branded innovation; services for an ageing population and convenience. He said: “It’s been successful for them and in fact it offers a broad range of opportunities in high growth areas.”

Langholm declined to comment.