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
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 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.
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 and Vixio.
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, Frontier Medical and YouGarden.
Cameron graduated from the University of Cape Town with a first class honours degree in Electrical Engineering.
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 and IGF, an SME asset-based lender.
Peter graduated from St Edmund Hall, Oxford, with degrees in Maths and Economics.
Head of Off-market Origination
Head of Off-market Origination
Rob is responsible for managing and coordinating Kester’s direct origination with the aim of developing proprietary deal opportunities that fit Kester’s investment criteria. Rob has over 18 years' experience of working in UK mid-market deal sourcing and, in addition to working with Kester, runs his own business, Clifden Consulting.
He was previously the head of direct origination at the Business Growth Fund.
Rob graduated from the University of Hull with a degree in music.
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.
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.
Vignesh joined Kester Capital in 2019.
He previously spent 3 years in the transaction services team at PwC, providing financial due diligence on a range of transactions, with a focus on retail & consumer, and healthcare. Prior to that, he started his career in their assurance practice, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Vignesh graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in Economics and is a CFA Charterholder.
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.
Factory-CRO Group is pleased to announce it is rebranding as Avania
Kester Capital backed ComplianceOnline rebrands to become VIXIO Regulatory Intelligence
Following a year of expansion, Kester Capital reflects on 2019 and comments on the outlook 2020