Graphite Capital to exit U-POL for a second time at 4.5x return

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UK buyout house Graphite Capital has scored a 4.5x return in its second successful sale of car refinishing product manufacturer U-POL.

The firm had previously picked up U-POL in 2002, before selling it three years later in a £75m deal to seal 3.2x return.

It bought the business again in 2010 through a £139m investment. Graphite’s latest sale valued the company at £428m.

U-POL manufactures over 1,000 products for distribution into more than 100 countries through aftermarket retailers and online channels. The firm said U-POL’s sales have doubled under the firm’s ownership to over £100m and staff numbers have grown by over 60 per cent.

Graphite Capital senior partner James Markham said, “It has been highly rewarding working with the U-POL team in executing their ambitious growth strategy. We are very pleased to have played an active role supporting them as they built U-POL into a truly global business with a culture of innovation set to generate continuing growth. This transaction crystallises an attractive return for our investors.”

Graphite Capital raised £500m plus for its ninth UK mid-market fund in 2018.

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