Kester Capital is a primary buy-out specialist, led by entrepreneurial and experienced investors, and focused on UK businesses that require capital in order to unlock their potential.
£10 - 50 million
£5 - 25 million
Portfolio companies supported by bolt-on acquisitions
Collective investment experience
Employed across portfolio
Rephine is a leading provider of Good Manufacturing/Clinical Practice (GMP/GCP) audits and regulatory consulting services to the pharmaceutical industry. The business has pioneered a differentiated approach to GMP/GCP auditing through its audit library model, solving common manufacturer and customer pain points caused by increasingly time-consuming and onerous auditing requirements. With pharmaceutical supply chains and regulations continuing to grow in complexity, the business is well-positioned to benefit from strong market tailwinds.
Optibrium is a leading drug discovery software provider to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The market for computer aided drug discovery (CADD) is valued at >£2 billion and is projected to grow at double digit rates in the medium term. Its StarDrop product is a complete platform of integrated software for small molecule design, optimisation and data analysis that enhances the speed and productivity of the drug discovery process. Optibrium’s recently launched Cerella product uses artificial intelligence to learn from complex drug discovery data to target high-potential chemical compounds. The business’ customer base includes five of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies.
YouGarden is a direct to consumer home shopping platform focusing on the gardening sector through its business to consumer brand YouGarden and a number of business to business category management partnerships with established brands including Ideal World TV shopping and Amazon Prime. Launched in 2012, YouGarden offers consumers a range of live plants, flowers, trees and bulbs which it sources from across the UK and Europe.
VIXIO is the world’s leading provider of global regulatory intelligence to the gambling and payment sectors through its Gambling Compliance, Payments Compliance and RegData products. The business enables compliance and legal teams around the world to manage risk confidently and discover new market opportunities by providing in-depth insight, analysis, commentary and research. Since inception in 2007, VIXIO has been at the forefront of the gambling regulatory landscape, growing its subscription-based information services at an exceptional rate, and, in 2015, it launched a similar offering for the payments industry.
Jollyes Retail Group Limited (“Jollyes”), is the UK’s second largest pet retailer. Founded in 1935, Jollyes has a growing portfolio of over 70 retail park superstores and concessions in garden centres across the UK. Jollyes focuses on providing its loyal and growing customer base with pet products and services that combine great quality and value. Jollyes has recently expanded its offering to customers to include grooming and veterinary services in store.
CETA Insurance is an innovator in personal and commercial insurance distribution. Since inception, CETA has been at the forefront of tech-enabled insurance distribution and niche product and channel development. CETA has been successful at leveraging its online broking platform, diverse range of insurer relationships, strong digital marketing skills and deep data insights to develop market leading positions and recurring customer relationships in its core markets and channels.
Avania (formerly Factory-CRO) is a leading contract research organisation (“CRO”) focused exclusively on the fast-growing medical device market in Europe, Australia and North America. Founded in 1994, the business offers a full suite of trial management services to its global client base across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including orthopaedic, cardiovascular, dermatology and aesthetics.
The market for medical device CROs is growing quickly, driven by an increasingly stringent regulatory regime, underlying growth in medical device sales and an increasing propensity to outsource.
Avania (formerly Factory-CRO) is Kester Capital’s second investment in the CRO market after its successful investment in Chiltern International.
Frontier Medical Group is a diversified medical devices business focused on the Skin/Wound Care and Infection Prevention markets. The business’ Skin/Wound Care brands include Repose®, Toto® and DermisPlus® which are used in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers (bed sores) and treatment of wounds. Through its Infection Prevention division, the business produces a range of sharps and clinical waste containers (Sharpsafe® and Clinisafe) for the safe disposal of medicinal sharps, pharmaceuticals and other clinical waste. Frontier has an established direct sales team in the UK and has recently invested in direct sales teams in the US and Germany to complement it’s expanding global distributor network.
Frontier Medical Group was sold to Agilitas Private Equity in June 2021, delivering a return of 3.4x to Kester Capital funds and a 30% IRR.
Briefing Media was established to acquire business-to-business media assets with strong market positions. During Kester Capital's ownership, Briefing Media made five acquisitions across three sectors: agriculture, healthcare and media strategy. Briefing Media's agriculture assets formed the UK's leading agriculture information and events group.
Briefing Media was sold to Lyceum Capital in July 2015, delivering an unlevered return of 3.5x to Kester Capital funds and a 57% IRR.
Garrets International (“Garrets”) is the global leader in outsourced marine catering management for the commercial shipping industry. Garrets manages approximately 1000 vessels on behalf of some of the largest names in world shipping. The market for outsourced marine catering management is in the early stages of development but is growing rapidly due to the increasing awareness of the benefits of outsourcing which include quality and cost control as well as crew welfare and regulatory compliance.
Garrets was sold to Wrist Ship Supply in January 2016, delivering a return of 3.2x to Kester Capital funds and a 38% IRR.
Chiltern is a leading, global contract research organisation (“CRO”). The business offers a broad range of clinical CRO services for the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries across a wide spectrum of therapeutic areas. The business serves its international client base from its office network across 35 countries. The CRO market has strong medium-term growth characteristics driven by: a continued increase in R&D spend by the biopharma industry; the growing worldwide regulatory burden associated with new drug applications; and, the continued trend to outsource CRO activities.
Kester Capital sold Chiltern in December 2013, generating a 2.2x return for Kester Capital funds.
Industry Dynamics is a leading business-to-business events organiser, offering a wide range of medium and large scale events in Europe and North America. The business is focused on a number of key verticals including: energy; pharmaceuticals; food and beverage; supply chain; and, business services. The global business-to-business events market is large but highly fragmented, with strong medium term growth prospects.
Travel Entertainment Group (“TEG”) is a leading content service provider (“CSP”) of in-flight entertainment services to the airline industry. TEG serves its customer base of over 40 airlines out of its headquarters in Manchester, with additional offices in Madrid, California, Johannesburg and Singapore. TEG operates in a market with favourable long-term dynamics, driven by growth in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), aircraft volumes and the increasing prevalence and sophistication of installed in-flight entertainment systems.
TEG was sold to Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. in October 2013, delivering a 1.8x return to Kester Capital funds.
Our Managing Partners have worked together since 2002 and our investment team collectively brings over 80 years of investment experience.
Adam co-founded Kester Capital in 2007 and sits on the firm's Investment Committee.
He previously spent 5 years at European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, where he focused on mid-market buy-outs. Prior to that, he spent 3 years at Bridgepoint Capital and started his career in the Leveraged Finance team of Deutsche Bank. He currently sits on the boards of Avania (formerly Factory-CRO), Jollyes, Vixio, Optibrium and Rephine.
Adam graduated from Trinity College, Oxford with a degree in Classics.
Cameron co-founded Kester Capital in 2007 and sits on the firm's Investment Committee.
He previously spent 6 years at European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, where he focused on mid-market buy-outs. Prior to that he spent several years at Bankers Trust as part of the Leveraged Finance team and as a Strategy Consultant with Accenture. He currently sits on the boards of CETA Insurance and YouGarden.
Cameron graduated from the University of Cape Town with a first class honours degree in Electrical Engineering.
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Patricia previously spent 18 years at international private equity firm Livingbridge, where she worked within finance and operations.
Patricia graduated from the University of Cape Town with a honours degree in Business Science.
Peter joined Kester Capital in 2019 having previously spent 8 years working in lower mid-market private equity firm, Spring Ventures, and 3 years with technology venture capital investor Blenheim Chalcot. Prior to that, he spent 4 years at Oliver Wyman where he worked as a strategy consultant in the financial services practice.
He currently sits on the boards of Vixio, YouGarden, Optibrium and IGF, an SME asset-based lender.
Peter graduated from St Edmund Hall, Oxford, with degrees in Maths and Economics.
Thomas joined Kester Capital in 2021 having previously spent 7 years in private equity working for Chiltern Capital and Vitruvian Partners. Prior to that, he spent 3 years in corporate finance at Livingstone Partners (now Arrowpoint Advisory) following 4 years at PwC.
Thomas graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Engineering and Management Studies, and is a Chartered Accountant.
Ben joined Kester Capital in 2018.
He previously spent 3 years in the corporate finance team at PwC, where he focused on UK technology, media and telecoms. Prior to that, he spent several years at Arma Partners, a technology advisory boutique, with a focus on software and IT services.
Ben graduated from the University of York with a degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, and is a Chartered Accountant.
Rob joined Kester Capital in 2021 having previously spent 6 years working in venture capital and private equity with Albion Capital and Root Capital.
Prior to that, he spent 4 years at KPMG, working in the corporate finance and restructuring teams.
Rob graduated from the Newcastle University with a first class honours degree in Business Management, and is a Chartered Accountant.
David joined Kester Capital in 2021.
He previously spent over 4 years at PwC, originally qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in their assurance practice and latterly working in the Healthcare M&A team, advising on transactions across a range of healthcare subsectors.
David graduated from the University of Birmingham with a first class honours degree in Business Management.
Jack joined Kester Capital in 2021.
He previously spent over 5 years at KPMG, latterly within the corporate finance team focused on business services and technology. Prior to that, he started his career in their dedicated private equity assurance practice.
Jack graduated from the University of Durham with a degree in Economics and is a Chartered Accountant.
Bob has over 30 years of private equity investment experience and sits on the firm's Investment Committee.
Bob founded Greenhill Capital Partners (now GCP Capital), a US mid-market private equity firm in 2000, where he continues to serve as Chairman. Prior to that, Bob spent 17 years at Morgan Stanley & Co., latterly as Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley’s private equity business.
Bob is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School, from which he graduated with high distinction as a Baker Scholar.
Hana is an Executive Assistant with extensive experience, having held positions in the legal, accountancy and fitness industries. She has a broad range of skills to call upon to help those around her achieve their best.
Hana graduated in Business and Management Finance (focusing on Crisis Management).
She is fluent in English, Czech and German.
We focus on partnering with talented teams and providing first time institutional capital to ambitious UK businesses with potential for growth.
Our team combines an entrepreneurial approach with an extensive investment track record and works closely with an established network of experienced industry operators.
We partner closely with ambitious management teams, providing a high level of strategic support to accelerate their growth.
Working together since 2002, our partners have a long track record of delivering growth in UK businesses and achieving successful exits. Our team collectively brings over 80 years of investment experience.
A powerful combination of financial firepower and business support drives the organic and acquisitive growth of our investee companies.
We are committed to responsible and sustainable investment. Our investee companies have also been recognised for successfully embedding Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance practices into their commercial activity.
Kester Capital observes the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (“PRI”).
UK SMEs with ambition, talent and strong growth potential
Enterprise value of £10 - £50 million
First time institutional capital
£5 - £25 million
Focused on Healthcare, Business & Financial Services, TMT and Niche Consumer.