London-based etc. venues completes buy-out deal backed by Growth Capital Partners

Training and conference space provider etc. venues has undergone a secondary management buy-out by Growth Capital Partners (GCP).

Managing director Alastair Stuart acquired the company from its founder Sally Wilton in 2006, in a £21m management buy-out backed by Dunedin, and will lead its continued roll-out.

The latest deal sees Dunedin exit the company for a figure more than three times the original investment, in what is the private equity house’s third successful exit in six months, following the sale of mobile bridge designer WFEL and IT system provider Capula earlier in the year.

etc. venues joins ski and cruise travel agent Iglu.com and packaging manufacturer Excelsior Technologies in GCP’s seven-strong portfolio and represents its third deal in six months.

The specialist venues provider has increased sales from £9m to £22m with the support of Dunedin and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) has grown from £2m to over £5m.

Alastair Stewart, managing director of etc. venues is grateful for the support from Dunedin over the past six years, which has enabled the company to launch a new venue roll-out programme and expand significantly on existing venues.

He commented: “Dunedin has proved to be an excellent investment partner, not only backing us financially but also providing us with the significant strategic support we need to successfully grow the business during the downturn.

“The sign of a good investor is one who responds in the right way to unplanned market changes and Dunedin gets full marks for helping us to make the most of our business opportunities.”

The deal with GCP and investment it promises will see etc. open at least eight new venues over the next five years as well as pursuing acquisitions and international growth.

Partner at GCP James Blake said: “We recognised that this was an attractive opportunity to support a hugely experienced and proven team led by managing director Alastair Stewart and finance director Paul Keen, in a secondary buy-out of the business and to provide additional equity to facilitate further growth.”

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