OpenGate backs modelling agency

The Beverly Hills-based buyout firm has taken a majority stake in Models 1, the European modelling agency that represents supermodels like Twiggy and Agyness Deyn. The acquisition provides a platform for further fashion industry acquisitions.

US private equity firm OpenGate Capital has bought a majority stake in British model agency Models 1, the home to faces like Yasmin Le Bon, Linda Evangelista, Twiggy and Agyness Deyn. Financial details were not disclosed.

Deyn: on the books

The Models 1 management of John Horner, Karen Pryor and Kathy Diamond will stay on and remain as shareholders in the company.

The acquisition provides OpenGate with a platform for “aggressive expansion” via further investments in the fashion industry, said OpenGate founder and chairman, Andrew Nikou, in a statement.

Nikou, who formerly managed Platinum Equity’s European investment activities, established OpenGate in 2005. The firm manages more than $500 million, according to its website.

The firm specialises in corporate spin-offs and divestitures in special situations and in October bought TV Guide Magazine from listed media technology group Macrovision Solutions.

Cavendish Corporate Finance advised on the deal.