Moulton plans to set up new buyout vehicle

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The Independent Online

Jon Moulton, one of the doyens of the private equity industry, who six weeks ago quit the firm he had established after a row with his former colleagues, is set to return to the buyout sector after announcing plans to set up a new fund.

Mr Moulton walked out of Alchemy Partners last month, publishing his resignation letter, which savaged Dominic Slade, his replacement at the company's helm, and others who he accused of getting the group's strategy wrong.

Better Capital, his new firm, is to open offices in Covent Garden, just around the corner from Alchemy's premises, and in a sign that hostilities between Mr Moulton and his former employer have not thawed, it is unlikely that any senior Alchemy staff member will join his new venture.

In his resignation letter from Alchemy, Mr Moulton lambasted the decision to change the group's focus.

"Alchemy is not what it was," he said. "Dominic Slade now wishes to convert the firm into a specialist financial services firm. I do not support this strategy. It's contrary to the positioning we have created with investors and deal sources, and wastes a spectacular opportunity in our area of perceived greatest strength."

In a recent interview with The Independent, Mr Moulton commented on the British economy, warning that "unless we have dramatic action, we're doomed to low growth, no growth, or going slightly downwards. Countries can't manage public debt at 100 per cent of GDP for very long. One day we'll wake up and discover that no foreigner will buy gilts – and we've had it".

Mr Moulton made his name during his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to buy MG Rover in 2000, and has become a household name, commenting widely on the credit crisis, and before that on the controversial tax relief afforded to private equity executives.