A leading private equity firm investing in Europe

Pan-Asian restaurant chain

A leading private equity firm investing in Europe

Online travel agency

A leading private equity firm investing in Europe

Manufactures and distributes medical devices

A leading private equity firm investing in Europe

Plant hire business

A leading private equity firm investing in Europe

Pioneering UK value retailer

A leading private equity firm investing in Europe

Specialist provider of healthcare services

We invest in Western European mid-market companies

Duke Street Private Equity has been investing in mature, mid-market West European businesses for over twenty years, concentrating our investment strategy on four sectors: Consumer, Healthcare, Industrials & Engineering and Services. Typically we invest in companies with an enterprise value of between £50m - £250m. Our strategy is based on our ability to identify unique opportunities and add value to each business we acquire. We aim to transform the prospects of the companies that we invest in.

Origination beyond the obvious

We focus our efforts on transactions developed on an exclusive basis. We actively seek complex deals which other investors may avoid if we think they have underlying growth potential.

Value creation

Our mission is to accelerate the growth of the companies that we buy. We help our companies grow both organically and through acquisition.

Supportive Structure

We have developed a robust approach to building relationships between ourselves, the CEOs of our portfolio businesses and our Operating Partners.

Sector focus

We believe sector knowledge is critical, which is why we have dedicated teams focusing on our four core sectors. This, alongside the deep industry experience of our Operating Partners, has allowed us to create a proven track record of successfully building companies.

We invest in companies with strong brands serving consumers across multiple channels

We have extensive experience in the consumer sector: in restaurants with wagamama, in the gaming sector through our investment in companies such as Gala Bingo, Sporting Index and Leisure Link. In leisure, we have invested successfully in both niche hotel operators and fitness and leisure businesses. Two of our investments in particular – SandpiperCI and The Original Factory Shop – display our willingness to back retail management teams with ambitious growth plans, even at a time when the sector as a whole was experiencing tough trading.

We also have a wealth of experience of working with management teams in consumer branded products. At Simple, we backed an ambitious growth plan for the business to become the UK’s leading skin care provider by volume, overtaking companies such as Nivea and L’Oreal in the process.

See our Portfolio for a more in-depth analysis of these and further Consumer investments.

Duke Street is a long-term investor in the healthcare space, making our first investment in 1997

Since then we have deployed c. €700m in the sector, backing great management teams to deliver transformational business plans.

We believe the sector to be structurally attractive: it is defensive and benefits from significant barriers to entry due to the complexity of the products and services involved.

We also believe that it lends itself well to our investment strategy. Europe is home to a large number of strong management teams, and high value-added businesses which deliver outstanding patient outcomes. Such businesses typically offer multiple routes to value creation. Even the most mature sub-sectors remain fragmented and so there is significant potential for buy and build.

Please see our Portfolio for a more in-depth analysis of our past and present Healthcare investments.

We cover a broad range of Industrials sub-sectors with a particular focus on aerospace & defence, engineering, manufacturing & security

We look to invest in companies with differentiated product or process IP, operating in attractive end-markets, with scope to affect operational transformation through inter alia, a build-up in specific niches, technological changes, or product / geographic diversification.

We back management teams with a clear strategic vision as well as a strong operational focus; and our in-depth understanding of the sector means we are well-placed to work in partnership with such teams.

Our investments in this sector include Deloro Stellite, the specialist engineering group, and filtration solutions provider Madison Filter. See our Portfolio for a more in-depth analysis of these and further investments.

We invest in services businesses with the potential for operational improvement and rapid growth

The services sector encompasses a wide range of sub-sectors, each subject to its own dynamics but often with outsourcing as a key driver. We identify macro trends that will drive above average market growth, and then back businesses providing value added skills and products to their customers in those markets. We are particularly attracted where there is the potential for operational improvement as well as organic growth. We partner with best-in-class management teams providing support, capital and expertise where this is required and materially adds value.

We have considerable experience in the sector, complemented by a large network of industry contacts. Investments we have made in this sector include Ardent Hire Solutions, a heavy equipment hire business, Payzone, a consumer payments business, and the specialist pensions group Xafinity. See our Portfolio for a more in-depth analysis of these and further Services investments.

Our Portfolio

Mr Music

SECTOR: Consumer

Education and Entertainment Nordic AB (EEN), leading Scandinavian distributor of educational and entertainment content

We look to invest in businesses where the current owners have neither the inclination nor the vision to invest in its growth and development into new markets. With EEN we worked closely with the new management team to realise new opportunities in online and mail-order retailing.

Investing in market leadership

EEN, formerly Mr Music, is Scandinavia’s largest mail-order distributor of music compilation CDs. Based in Gothenburg, the company creates its own compilations and sends them to the members of its various clubs every month.

We acquired EEN from its private owner in December 1999, together with our Swedish co-investment partner AB Segulah, committing funds to consolidate the company’s leading position in existing markets and expanding its operations.

Different from the rest

EEN’s products had a distinct advantage over albums released by its competitors. As they were sent out monthly, customers received their albums while the singles featured on the CDs were still in the charts. Other compilation albums were released only two to three times a year and contained tracks that are no longer current.

Mr Music had over 160,000 active members throughout Scandinavia and estimated that 70% of the region’s core 15-25 age group had at some time been members of one of its clubs. But for some time EEN’s owner had been running the company for its cashflow and was reluctant to provide capital for expansion, particularly to exploit the obvious opportunities presented by online retailing.

More than just capital

While we sourced the transaction and led the sometimes delicate negotiations, AB Segulah provided invaluable advice throughout. This included the recruitment of new management team members, investigating the commercial opportunities for the company in the Scandinavian market, and helping the vendor to create the most tax-efficient way of exiting from the business.

From the start, we provided much more than just capital. We worked closely with the management team, asking them what they wanted to do with the business and helping them formulate a business plan.

With the funds we made available for expansion, the company launched a number of clubs, including audio books and DVDs. In particular, it launched a new mail-order club called Kids University. This club offered educational games on CD Rom which teach English, Maths and History to children aged between three and 13 years. The club was targeted at over three million mothers in Sweden.

Exit

In December 2004, EEN was sold to a group of Swedish business angels.

Our Team

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Investors

Duke Street has invested £2.4bn and realized £3.7bn since 1994, and currently manages over £500m AUM. Our model ensures maximum alignment between investors and management teams and provides flexibility as well as certainty of funding. Fundraising is aligned with our own internal investment committee process, ensuring timely execution.



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Contact

Duke Street

Nations House,
103 Wigmore Street,
London W1U 1QS

Tel: +44 (0)20 7663 8500
Fax: +44 (0)20 7663 8501

Email us

mail@dukestreet.com

You can use the email address above, or write to us for additional security. Enquiries will of course be treated in strictest confidence from time of receipt but we cannot guarantee the security of email (or other) communications with us.