Livingbridge holds final close on eighth fund

At £660m, the fund is almost twice the size of its £360m predecessor.

UK lower mid-market firm Livingbridge has held a final close on its latest fund on £660 million (€788 million; $880 million).

Livingbridge 6, the firm’s eighth private equity fund since it was founded in 1995, is almost twice the size of its predecessor which closed in 2012 on £360 million. At that time the firm, led by managing partner Wol Kolade, was called ISIS Equity Partners.

Last month Private Equity International reported that the vehicle was set to close on its £660 million hard-cap in September.

The fund will invest in growth equity and buyout transactions of high-growth companies, predominantly in the UK, with enterprise values between £20 million and £75 million. It will invest across a range of sectors, including business and financial services, TMT, consumer markets, healthcare and education.

The fund has a “diversified and global investor base”, the firm said, with LPs from across the UK, Europe, and America, including insurance companies, public and corporate pension funds, funds of funds and family offices.

In September 2015 Livingbridge held a first and final close on its Enterprise 2 fund on £220 million. That fund will invest up to £10 million in fast growth, small and medium sized enterprises in the UK, as reported by PEI.

As a whole the Livingbridge platform has the capacity to provide equity funding of £2 million to £40 million to companies of a range of sizes.

In April Livingbridge completed its 100th investment, the management buyout of premium biscuits business Thomas J Fudges.

In August Livingbridge exited its remaining stake in corporate travel management company Reed & Mackay. Livingbridge first invested £4.87 million for a significant minority stake in the business on behalf of the Baronsmead VCTs in 2005. The firm then sold the company to ECI Partners in 2011 in an exit yielding a multiple of 4.8x and an internal rate of return of more than 35 percent for Livingbridge investors and the Baronsmead VCTs.

Livingbridge reinvested in the business alongside ECI, and both firms agreed to sell the company to fellow UK-focused private equity house Inflexion Private Equity in August. That transaction generated a multiple of invested capital of 3.4x for ECI and Livingbridge investors, as reported by PEI.