A leading private equity firm investing in Europe

Pan-Asian restaurant chain

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

SandpiperCI

SECTOR: Consumer

www.sandpiperci.com

Leading retailer in the Channel Islands

SandpiperCI presented an interesting but complex opportunity as a conglomerate without focus. We spotted the opportunity to simplify the business and invest in its core asset, retail.

Strong base, attractive market

SandpiperCI, formerly CI Traders plc, was the result of a merger between several long-established Channel Island companies, notably leading food retailer Le Riche and Ann Street, the Islands’ largest pub operator.

SandpiperCI was uniquely placed to build on an already strong base in the attractive retail market of the Channel Islands.

We started working on the deal with SandpiperCI’s new Chief Executive Tony O’Neill in October 2006. Tony’s considerable retail experience was gained at Somerfield and Marks and Spencer.

In January 2007 we obtained exclusivity and we completed due diligence by June. The absence of competition was largely due to the complexity of both the corporate set-up and the deal.

CI Traders was the Channel Islands’ largest quoted company with a broadly held and loyal shareholder base. As well as taking the company private through a Scheme of Arrangement, we sold a substantial number of properties to the outgoing Chairman, subsequently leasing some of them back.

Original Investment Strategy

On acquisition, SandpiperCI’s retail operations comprised five supermarkets, 33 convenience stores and the Marks and Spencer franchise in Jersey.  In addition to the retail business, Sandpiper had built a diverse portfolio of distribution, leisure and property development investments.  The investment strategy was to dispose of the non-retail operations to focus Sandpiper back to its core retail business, to implement the best practice in ranging, buying and merchandising and to invest in new retails businesses including M&S stores.  Duke Street partnered with Europa Capital to oversee the management of the property portfolio and to drive full value through a combination of property sales and developments.

Key Achievements during Investment

By 2010 Sandpiper had sold the five supermarkets to Waitrose, the pubs and drinks portfolio along with surplus property.  A successful refinancing in 2011 returned £29m to shareholders. 2013 saw the sale of St Pierre Park Hotel and a partial sale and leaseback of other properties. The remaining retail operations were grown though franchise agreements with major brands, including Costa (in the CI and Spain), Moss Bros, Burger King, Greggs, Crew, Jack Wills and Hotel Chocolat.  The business was again refinanced in December 2014 enabling a further return of capital along with an extension of debt maturities, which provided the business with a facility to fund the rollout of Costa Coffee in Spain.

Exit

Sandpiper was sold in February 2016 to a consortium of Channel Island investors led by the Bailiwick Fund.

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.