PRIVATE equity house WestBridge has appointed a new Investment Director to open its new Manchester office and lead investments across the North of England.
Peter Barkley joins WestBridge from Dow Schofield Watts, where he spent four years in the lead advisory team and where he supported WestBridge with its MBO of Stockport headquartered environmental consultancy APEM in March.
Barkley will work closely with the existing team to originate and execute new investments and support existing portfolio companies, including APEM, through to exit.
“In recent years, my role has been to advise investors on the merits of a deal but I’ve become increasingly keen to take a more active role in supporting the investee companies themselves. Joining WestBridge enables me to do just that, while also leveraging my regional knowledge and contacts.
“I advised WestBridge on the £15m MBO of APEM and have been impressed with their approach.
“The senior team are all experienced investors, who demonstrate sound judgement when selecting investee companies. They have a strong reputation and have realised some excellent returns.
“Having recently closed WestBridge II at £140m, it’s an exciting time to join. The business is committed to developing a lasting presence in the North and I am looking forward to leading this initiative.”
WestBridge, which already has offices in London and Cardiff, typically invests between £10-£20m into established, profitable and ambitious UK SMEs with enterprise values of between £15m and £40m.
Guy Davies, managing partner at WestBridge, said:
“Regional markets and intermediaries are key to the success of our business. The North of England is an important market for us, which is why we now have an office in the heart of Manchester at Spinningfields.
“I’m looking forward to personally supporting Peter develop our presence in the north west, while my colleague James Wakefield will provide similar senior support in the north east.”
Valerie Kendall, founding partner at WestBridge, added:
“We got to know Peter when he supported us on the APEM transaction, where he impressed us with his empathy and technical skills. He is a most welcome addition to our team.”