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UK mid-market firm Gresham Private Equity postpones Fund V launch

9 Jul 2013

UK mid-market firm Gresham Private Equity has postponed launching its fifth buyout fund following discussions with its limited partners, PEI has reported.

The fund is expected to come to market next year, a source said.

Last year AltAssets reported that the firm had hired advisory group Rede Partners to place the fund, which at the time was expected to come to market this year.

Gresham IV is now more than 75 per cent deployed, and the firm has been conducting pre-marketing for a new vehicle alongside an extension to Fund IV’s investment period.

Gresham, sealed two highly successful exits but also saw one of its portfolio companies go into administration. The sale of fluid management company Olaer to Parker Hannifin and sale of High Court writ enforcement group Marston to Inflexion in June both generated a four-times return on the firm’s initial investments in 2005 and 2008 respectively.

Earlier this year the firm exited 7city Learning with its sale to Fitch Group for around £90m.

In July 2012 Gresham lost control of its stake in Town Centre Restaurants, the chain operator behind the Café Giardino and Auberge brands, which called in administrators after failing to find a buyer.

Gresham IV raised £340m in 2006 just one month after launch, and was over- subscribed at the hard cap with commitments from investors including AlpInvest, ATP Private Equity, Morley Fund Management and Standard Life.

At the end of last year, Gresham had generated an IRR of 34 per cent and a 2.7-times multiple from all fully realised fund programmes since 1980, when the firm served as the captive private equity arm of Swiss insurer Zurich Financial.

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