ESO Capital

London and Frankfurt: ESO Capital Partners UK LLP, (“ESO Capital” or “ESO”), the provider of hybrid capital solutions to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), announces today the opening of a Frankfurt office, signalling its commitment to German-speaking Europe.

ESO will be able to better serve SMEs across continental Europe from its new base, with a particular focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The office will be led by Christian Fritsch, partner at ESO Capital, and will initially comprise a team of four investment professionals.

The expansion into Germany follows the recent acquisition by ESO of Core Capital, the UK lower mid-market private equity fund. The enlarged firm invests up to €40mn at a time in complex transactions. It deploys funds across the capital structure, providing hybrid capital solutions ranging from senior debt to equity. The team works closely with business owners and management teams to structure innovative, bespoke financing solutions and offer enhanced portfolio company support.

There are estimated to be more than 3.7 million SME businesses (defined as those with annual turnover below €500m) in Germany, representing the vast majority of all enterprises in the country, and underpinning the region’s strong economic performance. Demand among German SMEs for debt has grown every year since 2011 and is expected to continue.

ESO has extensive experience of investing in Germany. Its current investments include 21Sportsgroup, a sport-related e-commerce business, and Loancos, the largest independent loan servicer for performing and non-performing loans in Germany.

Christian Fritsch, Partner at ESO Capital and head of the Frankfurt office, said:
“I am delighted to announce the opening of ESO’s first office outside the UK in Frankfurt. Germany has a rich heritage of privately-owned small and medium-sized companies; by building a base in Frankfurt we will be well placed to support them and meet their growing appetite for credit, particularly given the changing shape of the local traditional lending market.”

Alex Schmid, CEO of ESO Capital, said:
“The opening of our new office is another significant milestone for the firm, following the acquisition of Core Capital this month. I am confident that our innovative approach to delivering financing solutions for European SMEs will prove equally attractive in Germany and German-speaking Europe and we look forward to continuing to serve this market through our new presence on the ground.”


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For further information:


Greenbrook Communications
Matthieu Roussellier, Matthew Goodman, Clare Glynn
P: +44 207 952 2000
E: eso@greenbrookpr.com


About ESO Capital
ESO Capital is a London-based investment firm providing hybrid private-capital solutions to European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ESO Capital’s acquisition of Core Capital is subject to regulatory approval and will combine its debt capabilities with Core Capital’s equity expertise. With over 75 deals completed and more than €1.1 billion of funds raised to date, the enlarged ESO Capital team will have the expertise and flexibility to invest up to €40 million in any given transaction, across the capital structure, from senior debt to equity. The team works closely with business owners and management teams to structure innovative, bespoke financing solutions and offer enhanced portfolio company support.

15 May 2018: Core Capital Partners LLP (“Core”), the UK lower mid-market private equity fund, announces today that it has become the first institutional investor in Alpine Fire Engineers (“Alpine”). Alpine is a market leading designer, project manager, service and maintenance provider of active fire suppression systems. This new investment will allow Alpine to accelerate its expansion plans.

Alpine has experienced significant growth over the last five years, which is expected to continue both organically, as well as through select bolt-on acquisitions. The investment from Core will support the development of Alpine’s service and maintenance offering in addition to investment in IT systems.

The existing Alpine management team will remain significant shareholders, along with new CEO Steven Nanda, who joins after seven years as Managing Director of Industrial Services at SPIE UK where he held responsibility for their UK M&A strategy.  David Steel, Partner at Core, also joins the Alpine Board.

Last week, ESO Capital, the specialist investment firm that provides hybrid capital solutions to European SME’s, announced its acquisition of Core Capital. By combining ESO Capital’s deep debt capabilities with Core Capital’s extensive equity expertise, the enlarged business will offer even more flexible capital structure solutions for lower and middle market European companies, with enhanced portfolio support.

Steven Nanda, CEO of Alpine Fire, commented: “I am delighted to have joined Alpine as CEO. The employees, customers and sector expertise have built a fantastic platform for the business to continue to succeed. Bringing in an external institutional investor who has supported rapid growth across a range of businesses will bring a new perspective and help to accelerate our development.”

David Steel, Partner, Core Capital: Alpine is already a very successful business, with a high-quality management team and a strong presence with its loyal customer base. Given our experience in supporting high-growth companies, we see considerable opportunity for Core Capital to work with Alpine as it looks to build its market share in this very interesting sector. Our investment in Alpine, which is at the top of the capital structure, is typical of the type of investment that the enlarged ESO Capital group will be pursuing in the future.”

Core’s legal advisor was Andrew Masraf at Pinsent Masons, with Management advised by JMW and Paul Hastings.  Hurst Corporate Finance advised Alpine on the transaction. Financial due diligence was conducted by Grant Thornton and commercial due diligence was completed by Teneo (previously Credo Consulting). 

 

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For investment enquires

David Steel (Core Capital)

+44 203 7949 750

 

For further information

Greenbrook Communications

+44 207 952 2000

Matthieu Roussellier, Matthew Goodman, Clare Glynn

 

Notes to Editors

 

About Alpine Fire Engineers:

Alpine Fire Engineers Ltd were established in 1992 and are a 1048 – 1 Level 4 Loss Prevention Standard approved contractor, the highest level attainable from the Loss Prevention Certification Board. Alpine operate nationally and specialise in the mitigation of client risk through the design, project management and maintenance of fire suppression systems.

 

About ESO Capital:

ESO Capital is a London-based investment firm providing hybrid private-capital solutions to European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ESO Capital’s acquisition of Core Capital is subject to regulatory approval and will combine its debt capabilities with Core Capital’s equity expertise. With over 75 deals completed and more than €1.1 billion of funds raised to date, the enlarged ESO Capital team will have the expertise and flexibility to invest up to €40 million in any given transaction, across the capital structure, from senior debt to equity. The team works closely with business owners and management teams to structure innovative, bespoke financing solutions and offer enhanced portfolio company support.

Enlarged firm to invest across capital structure, providing hybrid capital solutions, ranging from senior debt to equity

9 May 2018: ESO Capital Partners UK LLP (“ESO Capital”), the provider of hybrid capital solutions to small and medium-sized companies, announces today that it is acquiring Core Capital Partners LLP (“Core Capital”), the UK lower mid-market private equity fund, for an undisclosed amount.

The combined business will continue its focus on supporting SMEs across northern Europe, investing up to €40 million in complex transactions. The firm will invest across the capital structure, providing hybrid capital solutions, ranging from senior debt to equity.

Following the acquisition, Core Capital’s founders, Walid Fakhry and Stephen Edwards, will join the ESO Capital management board, alongside ESO Capital founder Alex Schmid and partners Richard Butler and Christian Fritsch. Alex Schmid will remain as CEO of the enlarged firm.

The acquisition of Core Capital by ESO Capital is a natural extension of the firms’ long-standing relationship. The firms have a proven track record of working together over recent years, most notably through their joint backing of Brasserie Bar Co, the restaurant operator. Between them, ESO Capital and Core Capital have completed more than 75 deals to date and raised funds of more than €1.1 billion.

Alex Schmid, CEO of ESO Capital, commented:

“We are delighted to be acquiring Core Capital, having developed a strong working relationship through our mutual backing of businesses. Core Capital’s expertise in the lower mid-market private equity arena will prove invaluable as we continue to grow and provide bespoke capital solutions to the SME market, which is highly fragmented and underserved. We very much welcome Walid, Stephen and their team.”

Walid Fakhry, Managing Partner of ESO Capital, added:

ESO Capital is a very successful business with a great reputation. Having got to know Alex and the team well over a number of years, we are excited to formalise our partnership and become part of the ESO team. Together, we will be able to better support small and medium-sized businesses across German-speaking Europe, the Benelux region and the Nordics, as well as the UK.”

For further information

Matthieu Roussellier, Matthew Goodman, Clare Glynn
Greenbrook Communications
+44 207 952 2000

About ESO Capital

ESO Capital is a London-based investment firm providing hybrid private-capital solutions to European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ESO Capital’s acquisition of Core Capital is subject to regulatory approval and will combine its debt capabilities with Core Capital’s equity expertise. With over 75 deals completed and more than €1.1 billion of funds raised to date, the enlarged ESO Capital team will have the expertise and flexibility to invest up to €40 million in any given transaction, across the capital structure, from senior debt to equity. The team works closely with business owners and management teams to structure innovative, bespoke financing solutions and offer enhanced portfolio company support.

ESO Capital

The SME lender sees a pick-up in its special situations deal pipeline amid mounting dry powder in the European private debt market.

European Special Opportunities (ESO) Capital, a London-headquartered European special situations investment firm, is to fully deploy its latest special situations fund by the year end, Tingting Peng, head of investor relations and fundraising at ESO Capital told Private Debt Investor.

The manager’s latest flagship fund, the 2015 vintage European Special Opportunities Fund VI has deployed 80 percent of its $250 million capital, 35 percent of which has gone into real estate debt opportunities. 

The firm is looking to deploy the rest of its capital into special situations lending to European corporates.

ESO Capital raised its capital from at least 17 investors based in the US, according to an SEC filing disclosed in February 2017.

PDI understands that Fund VI has an anchor investor based in the UK, while the remaining commitments come from state-backed pensions and corporate pension funds in the US.

The firm typically invests €10 million to €30 million apiece in lower midmarket SMEs with a focus on the UK, Northern Europe, and Germanspeaking European countries, according to Peng.

The 2013-vintage predecessor vehicle, European Special Opportunities Master Fund V, targeted $230 million, according to PDI data.

ESO Capital also has exposure to European non-performing loans via one of its German portfolio companies in fund VI, LOANCOS Group, as per PDI reporting.

The firm’s investment strategy mainly focuses on a combination of cash and payment-in-kind (PIK) – for which the firm realises its return at the maturity of debt instruments, rather than on a quarterly basis – depending on the type of business and deal.

Asked if the capital will be fully deployed within the target timeline, this year, Peng said: “Market observers say there is $80 billion dry powder in the European private debt market, but as a flexible capital solutions provider, we continue to see interesting deals in our pipeline.”

ESO Capital is not the only SME lender to point out the growing dry powder mountain in the European private debt market.

“People will have to work hard, and there will be some players out there, the weaker funds, who will struggle to deploy capital on returns acceptable to the LPs,” Jon Herbert, a managing director of the UK SME fund at Beechbrook Capital told PDI during an interview recorded last week.

PDI understands that the ESO fund has a six-year life with a target gross internal rate of return of 16 to 18 percent per annum across both debt and equity on an unlevered basis. For debt instruments, the firm targets an internal rate of return ranging from 12 to 14 percent per annum.

The firm has €550 million in capital under management and invests across the full capital structure, providing bespoke solutions, according to a member list provided by the Swiss Private Equity and Corporate Finance Association.

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