£100m return for investors following three exits by PE house

Foresight's NW team, Matt Pomroy, Claire Alvarez, Rob Jones

The North West operation of private equity investment manager Foresight Group has returned more than £100m to investors in its first North West Regional Investment Fund, after just three exits.

The £58m fund was launched in 2016 and has backed 17 SMEs with strong growth potential.

Following the exit from innovative Manchester-based interpreting business DA Languages (DAL) to IK Investment Partners last month, Foresight has now realised three investments for impressive returns.

The undisclosed DAL deal followed the successful sale of Hedges Direct in February 2021, and Clubhouse Golf in March 2020, which generated returns of 5.6x and 6.1x, respectively.

Fund investors, which includes the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, have now received cash proceeds in aggregate of 1.8x cost – more than £100m – with 14 investments still held in the portfolio.

Foresight’s 17 investments in the Fund, to date, have created more than 900 high quality, sustainable jobs, spent £6m on research and development in the past two years alone, and, as at June 30, 2021, delivered revenue growth of more than 95%.

As part of Foresight’s due diligence processes, approximately £3.3m has been spent with professional service providers in the North West.

The Fund has deployed £52m, specifically targeting North West England, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and North Wales, a model Foresight has replicated in other regions across the UK.

The success for the maiden fund underpinned the raise of Foresight’s second North West Regional Investment Fund, which held its first close in May 2021, with £65m of committed capital.

The North West team is now searching for new investment opportunities in the region. Claire Alvarez, partner, Foresight Group, said: “We have worked incredibly hard in a true partnership with the management teams of our portfolio companies to help them grow and become stronger and more sustainable companies.

“In doing this we have also generated outstanding returns for our investors – including several local authority pension funds – which supported us with the original fundraise in 2016.”