Lonsdale closes debut fund on £110m hard-cap

The London-based firm has been investing on a deal-by-deal basis since 2008.

London-headquartered lower mid-market firm Lonsdale Capital Partners has closed its debut private equity fund on its target and hard-cap of £110 million (€138 million; $156 million) after nine months of fundraising, according to a statement from the firm.

Lonsdale was set up in 2008 by three former investment bankers. Alan Dargan, formerly a managing director in investment banking at both Credit Suisse First Boston and Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS) and founder of corporate finance advisory firm Lansdowne Capital, teamed up with former Bank of England economist David Gasparro and Ross Finegan, formerly of Chase Capital Partners, to create the firm. Since then it had been investing on a deal-by-deal basis.

In the statement, Lonsdale said it decided to raise its first fund “in response to demand from existing and potential new investors”.

The fund attracted commitments from “a close knit group of investors from Europe and the US”, with 80 percent of the capital coming from pension funds, funds of funds and family offices, the firm said. The remaining 20 percent is from high net worth individuals from Lonsdale’s network, several of whom have previously participated in deal-by-deal investments led by the firm, and the Lonsdale partners themselves.

Investors in the fund include LGT Capital Partners, Wilshire Private Markets and Adams Street Partners, according to regulatory filings.

Placement agent TMR Strategic helped Lonsdale with the fundraise, while King & Wood Mallesons acted as legal advisor.

The fund, Lonsdale Capital Partners, will continue the firm’s established strategy of investing in UK and European companies with an enterprise value of between £10 million and £50 million, writing equity cheques of between £10 million and £15 million per transaction for a majority stake.

Since 2008 Lonsdale has completed nine principle investments, including acquiring majority stakes in Global Yachting Group, Ocean Media Group, and Nutrisure within the last 12 months.

“We are now actively looking to invest in UK and European cash generative businesses and already have a strong pipeline of opportunities to explore,” the founding partners said.

Lonsdale has also completed two exits. In July 2012 the firm sold OEG Offshore, an Aberdeen-headquartered supplier of speciality containers and cabins to offshore oil and gas facilities, to a family office, in a deal generating more than 4.5x invested capital. In March 2015 Lonsdale sold educational materials provider CJ Fallon to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.