Altitude Partners, the regional private equity firm, is raising of its second regional fund from high net worth investors and family offices, following a further successful exit from its maiden fund.
The boutique investor has sold Gradwell Communications (Gradwell) to a Buy-in Management Buy Out team backed by Chiltern Capital, generating a return of 2.7x. Altitude invested a GBP1.1 million in the business in 2012.
Bath based Gradwell was an early developer of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony in the UK, before diversifying into cloud-based services and connectivity for SMEs following Altitude’s investment.
Altitude also exited The Care Division last year through a sale to Alina Homecare backed by Bridges Ventures, generating a multiple of 2.9x.
Its first fund, which closed at GBP7.8 million in 2012, is now 70 per cent invested. Other investments include office fit out contractor James Tobias and electronics firm Moortec.
Altitude said it was targeting a first close of GBP10 million for its second fund, which would focus on investments of between GBP1 million and GBP4 million in growing businesses based in the South. It said investments in the second fund would be structured to qualify for Business Property Relief and Investor Relief.
Jonathan Simm, Partner at Altitude, says: “This second exit is comfortably in-excess of our stated investor cash multiple when we raised our first fund. The fund is performing well and offers a strong reference for the launch of our second regional fund which is now open for new investment.”
Peter Gradwell, founder of Gradwell, who is remaining with the business, says: “I am grateful for Altitude’s help in developing the business that I founded and assisting me in developing our platform. I’m looking forward to taking Gradwell into the future.” Simon White, Partner at Altitude, says: “It’s been a pleasure to work alongside this dynamic regional business during its development. We have worked closely with the team since day one of our involvement, to help deliver a company with a stable and diverse product line and a growing customer base.”
Simon Mewett, outgoing CEO of Gradwell says: “The Altitude team introduced the business to me only recently, but it was easy to see its potential and what had already been achieved. It’s been a pleasure working with both the Gradwell and Altitude teams and latterly on this successful transaction.”
Legal support for the Gradwell transaction was provided by Clarke Willmott (Simon Thomas, Menekse Meech) and the shareholders were advised by Shaw & Co LLP (Jim Shaw, Myles Hamilton, Tom Rook).