Oakfield Capital Partners, a UK-based private equity firm specialising in investing in small and midsized British businesses, is to launch a new 20 million pound ($30.3 million) fund which will allow its investors to qualify for tax relief under the Government-backed Enterprise Investment Scheme. OCP’s UK Special Situations Fund will invest in 6-8 SME businesses which need both finance and management support to realise their full potential.
Oakfield Capital Partners (‘OCP’), a private equity firm specialising in investing in small and midsized British businesses (‘SMEs’), is to launch a new £20m fund which will allow its investors to qualify for tax relief under the Government-backed Enterprise Investment Scheme (‘EIS’).
OCP’s UK Special Situations Fund will invest in 6-8 SME businesses which need both finance and management support to realise their full potential. The new businesses will join OCP’s existing stable of five companies in which it has invested since the firm was founded in 2008.
Announcing the launch of the new fund, OCP Partner David Pitman said: “In the current financial environment even good quality SMEs have been finding it increasingly difficult to raise fresh capital. SMEs are a vital part of the British economy – they account for 60% of employment and 50% of turnover in the UK’s private sector – and we believe that successful SMEs will typically produce faster growth and better returns than larger companies.
“We invest in SMEs whose potential has not been realised, perhaps because they have non-strategic owners or the wrong capital structure. These businesses are like diamonds in the rough – their intrinsic value is high but many of them need to be reshaped and polished to realise that value. The SME sector often lacks access to the right type of capital and expertise but offers significant opportunities for a focused private equity firm.”
To date OCP has raised £23m to invest in its five investee companies. By adding management expertise as well as money the performance of those businesses has improved rapidly – as has the numbers of staff they employ.
“We believe that we are unique within the EIS funds market in that we invest meaningful amounts of our own personal capital alongside our investors and become directly involved in the management of the businesses in which we invest,” Pitman added. “We are not simply financial engineers. Between us, the Oakfield partners have over half a century of commercial management experience, and by taking a hands-on approach to our investments we believe we can produce superior returns compared to funds which simply write a cheque and sit back and watch.”
OCP hopes to complete its Special Situations fundraising by the autumn. The minimum subscription is £50,000.
Notes to Editors:
Oakfield Capital Partners (OCP) is a private equity company, formed in 2008, which specialises in investing in small and midsized businesses in the UK. OCP aims to achieve significant capital gains by providing equity capital and management support to unlock potential. OCP employs a low-leverage, operationally-led approach to private equity investment.
1. OCP’s four Partners have over 50 years of combined experience in senior financial and operational management roles within a range of both privately-owned and publicly-listed companies. Unusually, the Partners and their colleagues may become executive directors of their investee companies to help their management teams grow their businesses, and they invest their own capital alongside their investors’ funds.
2. Over the past five years OCP has invested in five companies which together employ over 250 people. Despite the current difficult environment for SME fundraising, with OCP’s help those companies have raised £23m of debt and equity.
OCP’s portfolio of companies includes:
· Coryton – speciality petroleum products
· Taylor – commercial waste bin manufacturers
· Ingresso – e-commerce platform
· Jolly Fine Restaurants – Michelin-starred restaurant group
· Secure Parking & Storage – parking/storage service.
3. Under the Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme, investors get 30% income tax relief on their investment, exemption from Capital Gains Tax, relief against losses, and shelter from inheritance tax. EIS reliefs mean that higher rate taxpayers have net of exposure of only 38.5p for every pound invested. The OCP UK Special Situations Fund has a minimum subscription requirement of £50,000.
4. Electronic images of David Pitman of OCP, and stock shots of OCP’s investee companies, are available on request from Attila Consultants.
OAKFIELD CAPITAL PARTNERS
David Pitman, Partner Tel: 020 7084 7272
ATTILA CONSULTANTS Tel: 020 7776 8825
Charles Cook Mob: 07710 910 563
Nita Shah Mob: 07904 120 960