The fund, Livingbridge’s eighth since it was founded in 1995, will invest in growth equity or buyout transactions of entrepreneurial, high growth companies predominantly in the UK. The fund will focus on investing in companies with enterprise values typically between £20m and £75m across a variety of sectors ranging from business and financial services to TMT, consumer markets and healthcare & education.
Known as Livingbridge 6, the fund has a diversified and global investor base with Limited Partners from across the UK, Europe, and America drawn from insurance companies, public and corporate pension funds, fund of funds and family offices.
The successful fundraise caps a busy period of activity for Livingbridge which saw the firm complete its 100th investment in April this year following the management buyout of Thomas J Fudges, a 100-year-old family business selling premium biscuits.
In total, Livingbridge has completed eight transactions since the start of the year, investing in businesses such as Southern Communications, one of the UK’s most established telecommunications business, digital recruitment specialist Up Group, and Direct Ferries, the world’s largest online ferry ticket aggregator. It has also successfully exited businesses such as corporate travel agent Reed & MacKay, IT infrastructure services provider Onyx and Frank Recruitment Group, a global staffing business.
This latest fundraise follows Livingbridge’s successful close of its Enterprise 2 fund in September 2015, which raised £220m to invest in smaller SMEs. Overall the Livingbridge platform is able to provide equity funding of £2m to £40m to companies of a range of sizes, specialising in supporting the management teams of fast growth businesses.
Wol Kolade, Managing Partner at Livingbridge said:
“We are delighted to have secured the support of such a high quality international investor base. This is testament to both our strong track record and the significant opportunity that exists to deliver excellent returns backing fast growth UK SMEs. The EU referendum result may have injected a degree of uncertainty into the UK economy but SMEs and entrepreneurs have proven time and time again that they are able to adapt and thrive in precisely this sort of environment.”
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Investment in smaller companies which are traded on AIM or PLUS Markets, by its nature, involves a higher degree of risk than investment in larger companies, including those traded on the main market. In particular, smaller companies often have limited product lines, markets or financial resources and may be dependent for their management on a smaller number of key individuals. In addition, the market for shares in smaller companies is often less liquid than that for shares in larger companies, bringing with it potential difficulties in acquiring, valuing and disposing of such shares. Investments held by the funds may be difficult to realise. The fact that a share is traded on AIM or PLUS-Markets does not guarantee its liquidity. The spread between the buying and selling price of such shares may be wide and thus the price used for valuation may not be achievable.
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