Published July 28, 2009

Close Capital Partners spins out of Close Brothers

The three executive directors of Close Growth Capital have bought the business out of Close Brothers and changed its name to Growth Capital Partners LLP. Growth Capital Partners provides structured equity, a combined equity and debt product, to the UK’s small to medium sized businesses.

Commenting on the buyout, Bill Crossan, managing partner of Growth Capital Partners LLP said:

“We’ve never been more positive about the future. The UK is bursting with opportunity. Growth Capital was the first private equity firm in the UK to use structured equity to finance management buy outs. Our blended equity and debt capital structures are constructed to suit individual businesses wherever they are in their growth phase – exactly the right product for this part in the investment cycle.

Businesses and entrepreneurs are finding it difficult to access conventional bank debt and this presents a significant opportunity for Growth Capital Partners. Because we provide all or the majority of the funding in a transaction we are able to execute deals in all market conditions. Our approach of providing flexible, patient capital has been a success with management teams who are able to retain more equity; advisors who are looking for greater deliverability; and investors who want attractive risk adjusted returns.

Our proven team has applied the same consistent and differentiated strategy for the past 10 years. Independence means that this team now has the additional motivation and desire to build on our successes.

During the last 10 years, we have made over 20 investments including companies such as Tangerine the confectionery firm that makes Butterkist Popcorn. Since then we have exited from 12 businesses delivering excellent returns to our investors.”

Growth Capital Partners currently manages approximately £90 million of existing private equity investments. It has 8 companies in its portfolio including:

• Amor Group, IT software services for the oil and gas sector

• Blueberry Group, supplier and distributor of speciality foods

• Wrap Film Systems, cling film and foil converter for food service

• Eldapoint, provider of container handling and storage for shipping

• Killby & Gayford, specialist contractor focused on heritage buildings

• A-Gas, international distribution of speciality gases

• Tangerine, confectionery manufacturer

• Entec, multidisciplinary environmental consultancy

Growth Capital Partners typically invests £5m to £50m in management buy-outs, development capital and secondary or tertiary buy-outs.

The partnership is headed by Bill Crossan, who founded Close Growth Capital in 1999, Garrett Curran, who joined the firm in 2001 from PWC and James Blake who joined the firm from 3i in 2005.