Buyout for Hambros venture capital

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The Independent Online
THE MANAGERS of a pounds 261m private equity fund previously managed by Hambros and sold on to Investec, the South African financial group, have transferred the fund to a new company, Duke Street Capital, writes John Willcock.

The fund, called HEV III, recently completed the pounds 46m buyout of Vardon Bingo (renamed Ritz Clubs) from Vardon. The fund also recently bought the Blue Green golf club and hotel operator from the French governemnt for pounds 13m, as well as financing the pounds 100m management buy-in of County Hotels from Queens Moat Houses.

The 20-strong team of professional private equity investors who used to work for Hambros have performed what they call a "do-it-yourself buy- out" on the HEV III fund. They claim it is the first UK buy-out of a private equity business to be backed entirely by existing investors.

The specially created new company, based in St James's in the West End of London, will be headed by Edmund Truell as chief executive and Graham Lee, who will be managing director. A non-executive chairman will be appointed shortly, a spokesman for the company said yesterday.

No money changed hands in the deal, which consisted merely of transferring the management of HEV III to Duke Street.

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