Posted: 26 March 2019

Final close of WestBridge II raises £140m (US$182m) of firepower

Final close of WestBridge II raises £140m (US$182m) of firepower

WestBridge has announced the final close of WestBridge II (the Fund) having raised £140m in fund commitments and associated earmarked co-investment monies.

The Fund, which had a £100m hard cap, was oversubscribed. Commitments were made by existing and new institutional investors and WestBridge’s industrialist Strategic Investor Group.

WestBridge II typically invests between £10m-£20m in established, profitable and ambitious UK SMEs with enterprise values of between £15 and £40 million. The Fund is expected to invest in 10 to 12 companies.

Over the past nine months, WestBridge II has completed three MBO transactions of businesses operating in strongly growing niches:

  • AJM Mobility, which provides mobility and assistive technology equipment to people in the community on behalf of the NHS and local authorities;
  • APEM, a leading environmental consultancy operating in the aquatic niche; and
  • Wilcomatic, which distributes, installs and maintains vehicle and train wash systems as well as operating car washes in partnership with supermarkets.

WestBridge II is almost 20% deployed with a strong pipeline of new investments that may complete later this year.

In recent months, the business has expanded its investment team by hiring Tim Whittard, James MacLeay and Edward Minton. Additional team hires are also in progress.

Guy Davies, managing partner at WestBridge, said:

“WestBridge II will be transformational for our business. Having successfully invested our first fund and delivered three exits at an average of 4x money multiple, we set out to raise £100m from our existing and new institutional LPs.

“Following a first close in early 2018, we did exactly what we told potential new investors we would do, expand and develop our investment team and demonstrate that we can effectively source and invest in attractive businesses across the UK.

“We particularly want to thank our existing investors for their continued support and welcome those who have decided to make their first commitment at this time.”

James Wakefield, chairman at WestBridge, said:

“WestBridge is very much a business coming of age. The deep experience of our partner group combined with the ambition and nimble response of our whole team uniquely positions us relative to our peer group.

“The relative lack of competition and ability to acquire businesses at attractive multiples attracted interest from investors. However, the team’s approach and experience of growing businesses in partnership with incumbent management teams is equally critical to both fund investors and investee companies alike.”

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