Growth Capital Partners (“GCP”), the UK SME specialist private equity firm, has realised its investment in Cooke Optics (“Cooke”), a manufacturer of high end cine lenses to the global film, television and advertising industries.
Caledonia Investments plc is investing in Cooke to support the next phase of growth, developing new products and investing in production capacity. The deal provides an exit for GCP at a money multiple of 4.4x for GCP Fund III.
Cooke was founded in 1886 and is based in Leicester with operations in New Jersey. Cooke’s products have been used to shoot historic expeditions, famous Hollywood productions and contemporary high-end films and television series including the Harry Potter franchise and Games of Thrones.
The business produces several specialist product ranges to achieve a unique cinematic look, valued by cinematographers. GCP invested in September 2015 alongside the current management team including Chairman, Les Zellan and CEO, Robert Howard.
Over the period of GCP’s investment the business has successfully developed new products and grown the range of Cooke lenses from four to seven; invested in a new production site; and achieved impressive financial growth.
Les Zellan, Chairman of Cooke, says: “GCP has been an excellent investment partner for Cooke. From our first meeting they have supported the business and delivered what they promised. Cooke has grown strongly in the last few years and is on an incredibly exciting journey. We look forward to investing in new and innovative products, increasing our production capacity and continuing to manufacture great lenses that cinematographers and film fans love”.
Garrett Curran, Managing Partner at GCP, said, “we have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with Les, Robert and Cooke. It has been a privilege to be involved in a world class company and an integral piece of British cinema history. The management team has done a fantastic job in delivering on the growth plan and we were very impressed with the innovation, focus on quality and ambition throughout the business. We wish Cooke and their new investment partner all the best for the future and look forward to enjoying films shot with Cooke lenses for years to come”.