NorthEdge Capital (NorthEdge), the UK lower middle market private equity firm focussed on the North of England, has achieved a Final Close on its maiden fund, NorthEdge Capital Fund I LP, at the full fund size of £225million.
This marks one of the largest first-time fundraisings in Europe since 2008 and means almost a quarter of a billion pounds is available for investment into businesses across the North of England.
NorthEdge raised funds from 15 leading, global blue-chip institutional investors, including CNP Assurances, European Investment Fund, Industriens Pension, MLC Investments, Pathway Capital Partners and West Yorkshire Pension Fund. Some 48% of commitments came from Europe, 42% from the USA and 10% from Australia.
The NorthEdge team, based in Manchester and Leeds and headed by partners Grant Berry, Andy Ball, Ray Stenton, Dan Wright and Michael Joseph, has between them more than 100 years of private equity investment experience. Prior to founding NorthEdge, the senior team invested more than £400million in over 30 transactions across the North.
NorthEdge completed its first deal in February after acquiring a significant stake in FPE Global, a high-growth specialist engineering business in Stockport. The NorthEdge fund targets investments of between £5million and £35million in businesses with enterprise values of between £10million and £100million.
Grant Berry, NorthEdge managing partner, said: “We are delighted to reach Final Close at the maximum level and to comfortably exceed our original target of £200million during such a challenging fundraising environment. All our investors have shown great confidence in the NorthEdge team and, more importantly, great confidence in the quality of the businesses and advisers based in the North of England. In particular, this fundraise has really put the North on the map for institutional investors who look at global investment opportunities, and they have liked what they have seen.
“We are looking for passionate, dedicated management teams who want capital to maximise the potential in their businesses. In return we bring a positive, creative and straight-talking approach. Crucially, NorthEdge also offers local decision-making. The North is our home and where our network is, and this is where the investment decisions are taken by the partners.”
Andy Ball, NorthEdge partner and chief investment officer, said: “Investors have shown a huge appetite for our maiden fund and this Final Close is a very proud moment for us.
“Our team knows the North. It is where we have spent most of our careers, where we live and where we have invested. The North remains an economic powerhouse with fantastic businesses, hungry for capital. NorthEdge’s legacy will be in creating a new legion of fast-growing, innovative businesses that are based here with a global outlook.”
NorthEdge achieved the First Close of its maiden fund at £125million in summer 2012. UBS acted as sole global placement agent on the fund with an experienced team led by James Moore. SJ Berwin, led by Duncan Woollard, acted as legal adviser to the fund. Vicky Mudford Limited provided investor-related advisory services to the NorthEdge team.
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