US fund in debut UK MBO

CalPERS-backed GI Partners has invested £10.8m in the management buyout of NHP Healthcare Partnerships, the fund’s first UK transaction.

GI Partners, the international private equity fund backed by CalPERS and Richard Ellis (CBRE), has completed its first UK private equity investment with a £10.8 million (€16.2 million; $19.7 million) management buyout of NHP Healthcare Partnerships (NHPHP) from NHP Plc.

NHPHP is a UK-based psychiatric rehabilitation business that currently operates three hospitals and plans to open four more this year. The company’s strategy is to provide a bridge facility between acute psychiatric care and semi-independent living in the community.

Al Foglio, a London-based director of GI Partners described the firm’s first investment in the UK private equity arena as a sign of things to come in an interview with Private Equity Online. “We’re putting a big focus on asset-backed, mid-market businesses in Western Europe and the UK is our No.1 target,” he said.

Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with an office in Los Angeles, GI Partners was founded in March 2001 and the London office opened in early 2002. The firm's stated European strategy is to acquire strategic corporate-owned real estate and provide growth financing for asset-intensive and later-stage technology-related businesses.

The investment in NHPHP was made from the GI Partners I Fund, which was closed in March 2001 with $526 million (€434 million) of committed capital. A source close to the firm indicated that over half this fund has now been invested.

GI Partners I Fund is backed by CalPERS, the world’s largest public pension fund, which accounts for $500 million of its committed capital. The other investor is CBRE, which put in $26 million.

GI Partners has made three European investments to date, holding equity stakes in Energos, a Norwegian energy company and Acentic, a German technology company, as well as holding one UK-based asset, a data switching centre, Camperdown House in London.