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GCP Capital Partners Europe re-brands as Kester Capital

GCP Capital Partners, the former European private equity arm of Greenhill & Co, has re-branded as Kester Capital.

This follows the introduction earlier in 2013 of private equity funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management as GCP’s new cornerstone investor, alongside a number of other new institutional LPs, to replace Greenhill & Co.
 
Kester Capital will be led by Cameron Crockett (pictured) and Adam Maidment, both of whom have been with GCP since 2007. Brian Phillips, chief investment officer at GCP, who led the establishment of GCP for Greenhill in 2006, has moved to a senior advisory position.
 
Kester Capital will continue its core focus on lower mid-market UK transactions, targeting equity investments of GBP5m to GBP25m.
 
Maidment and Crockett say: “We are pleased to have completed this transition to Kester Capital with the support of institutions such as Goldman Sachs Asset Management. We are optimistic about the prospects for mid-market private equity in the UK and the opportunity that this presents to Kester Capital and our investors.”
 
The re-brand to Kester Capital coincides with the sale of Travel Entertainment Group (TEG) to Global Eagle Entertainment for a consideration of GBP23m, generating a return of approximately 1.8x for Kester Capital funds.
 
TEG, through its main subsidiary IFE Services, is a provider of in-flight entertainment solutions to the airline industry and works with a worldwide client-base of over 50 airlines and cruise ship operators. The company is headquartered in the UK with regional offices located in Madrid, Singapore, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, Oberhausen, Johannesburg and California.
 
Acquired in July 2008 in a primary buy-out, Kester Capital initiated the process of professionalisation in the business, appointing a new CEO and CFO. Under this team, the business has achieved strong organic growth, driven by the positive underlying dynamics of the in-flight entertainment industry and supplemented by a bolt-on acquisition in 2012.
 
Maidment says: “TEG has been a good example of what we set out to do: taking lower mid-market businesses and working with them to professionalise and move to the next level. We’re delighted that, in Global Eagle Entertainment, TEG has a supportive new owner who will be able to capitalise on the business’ achievements to date. We would like to thank the CEO, Andy McEwan, and his team for their excellent work over the last few years and we wish them well in this next phase of the business’ development.”
 
Andy McEwan, TEG’s chief executive, adds: “Over the last few years the business has successfully grown its market share and established itself as a leading provider of in-flight entertainment solutions. Kester Capital have supported the management team throughout this period, assisting in delivering both our organic and acquisition growth. We would like to thank the team at Kester Capital for this support and look forward to joining forces with Global Eagle and continuing to develop our range of services to clients.
 
“We would also like to thank Harris Williams & Co. who, through their international presence, sector knowledge and senior-led approach, advised Kester Capital and TEG on this successful transaction.”
 
Taylor Wessing and DWF advised Kester Capital and management, respectively.

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