Private equity house Key Capital Partners (KCP) is celebrating a record-breaking year after completing four deals worth a total of £28m in 2017, the latest in a string of investments it has made in growing SMEs nationwide.
The firm, which has offices in Leeds and London, is a leading investor in the smaller buy-out market. It specialises in working with profitable medium sized businesses with thepotential for growth.
Typically, the firm makes investments of between £3m to £15m and advises the management teams of its portfolio businesses to help them to realise their expansion ambitions.
KCP’s investment activities gained momentum over the last year, and a total of £35m has been invested from its latest fund since its launch in 2015.
KCP’s 2017 investments include: York-based food intolerance testing business Yorktest Laboratories; online building supplies firm Construction Materials Online; independent performance media agency, MC&C and Sparta Global, a provider of specialist IT Services.
In 2016, KCP invested in Northern domiciliary healthcare business Routes Healthcare.
Owen Trotter, managing partner of KCP, said: “Over the last two years, our team has been talking to dozens of businesses across the country which recognise their need for capital and expertise in order to realise their potential.
“With a strong track record of growing SMEs, together with our in depth knowledge of a diverse range of sectors, we have seen some great opportunities."
He said the process involves getting to know the business and management really well before it invests and making sure the deal is right for everyone involved.
"We believe that the companies in which we have invested in 2017 have real potential for value creation,” he added.
“As well as injecting vital capital, we work closely with management teams to help drive business strategy, bringing about sustained growth and job creation and also generating a healthy return for our investors."
KCP said there are a large number of SMEs throughout the UK which, while profitable, offer further hidden value which can be released given crucial capital and the right expertise, which gives the firm a strong pipeline of further investment opportunities.
"With a total of £140m of funds currently under management, this year we will be continuing to make more significant investments in high growth businesses across the UK,” said Mr Trotter.
Some of KCP’s successful exits include York-based Gear4Music which experienced tremendous growth following the firm’s investment in 2012. KCP sold its remaining stake in the business in 2016 achieving a five-fold return having helped the online musical instruments retailer become a £55m turnover operation.