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7 March, 2011 - 14:48 By Staff Reporter

Funder profile: Key Capital Partners


Key Capital Partners (KCP) is a private equity firm with offices in Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds and London, investing in businesses across the country. Investment partner Mike Fell lives in Cambridge. KCP was founded to focus exclusively on businesses operating within the equity gap.

It defines the equity gap as the void in funding that has opened up over recent years, above the level of support provided the government-backed loan schemes but below that offered by most private equity investors. As many institutional private equity firms have raised ever-larger funds, relatively few investors are now prepared to invest equity amounts of much less than £10 million.KCP invests in businesses that are well positioned to grow. When evaluating a potential investment, KCP assesses the company’s market position and potential, usually in a meeting with the management team. It then works with management and their professional advisers to create a plan to exploit the opportunities open to the company. This plan will identify the financial investment and other resources that will be required for its execution. As a private equity firm, KCP structures investments as transparently as possible and in a way that aligns the interests of all the parties, from investors to business owners, with a fair allocation of the rewards of success. KCP’s investment committee comprises the three investment partners, all of whom will meet with the company prior to the investment committee decision.

Sample investments

Templine Recruitment - invested £4.3m in Templine in October 2007. Templine provides temporary labour to customers in the distribution, warehousing and industrial sectors. The company also supplies ‘on site’ recruitment services to a number of major logistics and distribution companies. Templine Recruitment Limited has operations in Luton, Birmingham, Leeds, Coventry and Leicester.

Neville Johnson - contributed £4.25m of a £12.5m fundraising in March 2008. Neville Johnson is a leading designer, manufacturer and installer of high quality bespoke fitted furniture for home studies, bedrooms, lounges and home cinemas. Targeting high net worth individuals, its recent success has been driven by a reputation for quality coupled with a high level of customer service and satisfaction.

JDP Rooflines - pumped in almost half the company’s £5m+ cash haul in March 2008JDP is a roofline contractor and supplier, which has developed a strong presence as both a sole and sub-contractor in the social housing sector since its foundation in 1994 by father and son team Graham and Jamie Dent. JDP installs roofline products in housing refurbishment projects, and its supply division provides Swish-branded roofline products directly to house builders.

Pandora Books - level of KCP’s funding in Pandora Books in April 3008 remains undisclosed.Pandora Books is a leading supplier of book collections to schools. Recognising the time pressures that teachers are under and the lack of time to spend comparing and choosing the most suitable books, Pandora offers book collections which cover a wide range of reading abilities and meet all the criteria of the National Curriculum and the National Literacy Strategy.

TSC Foods -www.tscfoods.comKCP invested £5.65m as part of a £24m fundraising in July 2009.TSC produces and supplies high quality chilled and frozen sauces, soups, entrées and dressings to the retail and foodservice markets. TSC is a key supplier of private label soups and sauces to major food retailers, and is the supplier of choice for soups and sauces to a number of high-profile restaurant and pub chains. In 2008, TSC entered the branded chilled soup market through its development of the Glorious! fresh soup range.

Dwell - invested £5m in the furniture retailer in August 2010. Dwell creates and sells furnishings that combine aspirational design with affordable pricing, and has carved a niche targeting affluent young professionals. Originally founded as a mail-order furniture business in 2003 by entrepreneur, Aamir Ahmad, the company has grown from a single site into one of the UK’s most fashionable multi-channel furniture retailers.

Wells Plastics - www.wellsplastics.comKCP provided £3.8m of significant expansion funding in February 2011 to specialist additive masterbatch manufacturer, Wells Plastics, taking a significant minority stake in the company in a multi-million pound management buy-out. Wells supplies additives to global plastic manufacturers and processors that are looking to modify the properties of a broad range of plastic and polymer products in order to provide a range of enhanced properties, such as UV resistance, flame retardancy and oxobiodegradability. The end products are then supplied to a variety of sectors, including consumer, automotive, construction and agriculture.

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