Houlihan Lokey Advises Vespa Capital

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce Vespa Capital's successful first and final close of Vespa Capital III LP (the fund), raising £150 million in total commitments.

The fund successfully exceeded its original target and hard cap after less than three months in the market, following strong support from the firm’s existing investor base and keen interest from a number of notable new international investors. Despite the distraction of Brexit, the fund was significantly oversubscribed and represents a modest increase in size of approximately 25% more than the firm’s predecessor fund. This ensures the firm will remain focused on its successful investment strategy, targeting MBOs and recapitalisations in stable, profitable, cash-generative UK businesses in the lower middle market.

The final close also follows a busy year of investments for Vespa Capital’s predecessor fund. In July 2019, the firm backed the MBO of Bluecrest Health Screening Ltd., a leading provider of health screens in the UK and Ireland, which was recently appointed as Vitality’s sole health screening provider. In October 2019, the firm reinvested in Catalis plc, a leading outsourced service provider to the global media and entertainment industry, delivering a 5.5x return for its Fund I investors as a result.

Nigel Hammond, founder and Managing Partner of Vespa Capital, commented:
“Vespa Capital’s investment philosophy is to create consistently superior investment returns for investors by executing the same focused and successful investment strategy employed by our predecessor funds. We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our investors and the confidence they continue to place in the Vespa Capital team, as we remain focused on identifying market-leading and niche, resilient businesses led by first-class management teams with strong profit improvement potential.”

Andy Lund, Global Co-Head of Houlihan Lokey's Private Funds Group, commented:
“We are delighted to have worked alongside the Vespa Capital team on this fundraising, having worked with the same first-class team on their predecessor fund. This accelerated closing reflects the clear excitement and interest of international LPs who were attracted to the UK market and by Vespa Capital’s unique and successful investment strategy.”

Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive placement agent to Vespa Capital, having worked with the company on its predecessor fund, Vespa Capital II. The team assisted with all matters relating to document preparation, strategy, launch, marketing, and closing of the fund. This deal exemplifies the continued success of Houlihan Lokey's Private Funds Group in raising UK private equity funds. 

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