Lazarus rises with £575m spinout

The former Bregal Capital managing partner has gone full circle by establishing an independent firm.

EMK Capital, a firm founded by former Bregal Capital head Edmund Lazarus and Oakley Capital Private Equity founder Mark Joseph, has raised £575 million ($744 million; €681 million) to invest in UK mid-market businesses, according to a statement from placement agent Campbell Lutyens, which assisted with the fundraising.

EMK – which stands for Enterprise Management Knowledge – has emerged from what was previously known as Bregal Capital, one of the captive direct investment firms of the large European family office of the Brenninkmeijers. Six of EMK’s 10 London-based investment professionals were previously at Bregal Capital.

EMK, which was established in 2015, has assumed management of Bregal Capital’s portfolio of what was at that time nine European companies. Two of these companies have since been sold and the remaining seven have a combined net asset value of around £1 billion, according to the statement released by Campbell Lutyens.

It is not clear how much capital the Brenninkmeijers’ family office has committed to the new fund, which took eight months to raise “from first meeting to final close”, according to the statement. The fund hit its hard cap and attracted commitments from “a number of the world’s most experienced limited partners who are recognised leaders in the private equity asset class,” the statement said, without naming any of them.

The establishment as EMK as an independent firm marks the reversal of a trend that began in 2009, when Bregal Investments acquired Englefield Capital – a firm which it had previously backed as a cornerstone LP – and rebranded it Bregal Capital in its first concerted move to establish the Bregal brand in direct private equity investment. The Bregal name is now attached to a diverse group of seven private equity firms investing across Europe and the US in growth companies, mid-market companies and energy sector businesses.