Lion Capital LLP
|Predecessor(s)||Hicks Muse Tate & Furst Europe (1999-2004)|
|Founder(s)||Lyndon Lea, Neil Richardson and Robert Darwent|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Products||Leveraged buyouts, Growth capital|
|Total assets||€4.8 billion|
Lion Capital LLP is a British private equity firm primarily focusing on leveraged buyout investments in Europe. The firm specializes on investments in the consumer sector. Prior to the formation of Lion Capital, the firm had been the European affiliate of Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, one of the largest private equity firms of the 1990s.
The firm is headquartered in London, England, and has approximately 25 employees. Lion Capital has raised approximately €4.8 billion of investor capital since inception in 2004.
Lion Capital was founded in 2004 by Lyndon Lea, Neil Richardson and Robert Darwent.
From 1998 to 2004, the firm's predecessor had served as the European affiliate of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst (now HM Capital). The parent firm, Hicks Muse, which had been among the largest private equity firms in the 1990s struggled in the years immediately following the bursting of the internet and telecom bubbles. Hicks Muse was often cited with Forstmann Little as the highest profile private equity casualties, having invested heavily in technology and telecommunications companies. Meanwhile, the European team which had raised a separate €1.475 billion fund (Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Europe Fund I) in 2000, continued to make successful investments in the consumer sector.
Prior to founding Lion Capital, two of the founders Lyndon Lea and Neil Richardson worked together at Glenisla, the European affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts from 1993 to 1998. In 1998, Lyndon Lea left to found the European operations of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst with co-founder Robert Darwent. In 2004, Neil Richardson left KKR to join Lion Capital, just prior to its launch as an independent private equity firm.
In 2005, the firm completed fundraising for its first private equity fund, Lion Capital Fund I, with commitments from institutional investors of €820 million. In 2007, Lion Capital raised its second private equity fund, Lion Capital Fund II, with approximately €2.0 billion of investor commitments. The principals of Lion Capital have invested over €4 billion of equity capital in over forty transactions since the early 1990s. Among the firm's most notable investments are
- Acquired 76% of AllSaints Spitalfields in 2011 for £105 million;
- Bought Weetabix in 2004 for £640 million
- Sold Wagamama in 2011 for £215 million
- HEMA, Dutch department store chain
- Sold Orangina Schweppes for €2.6 billion in 2009
- Sold Jimmy Choo in 2007 for £185 million;
- Sold Kettle Chips in 2010 for $615 million
- Invested $80 million in American Apparel in 2009
- Young's Seafoods, British frozen food company
- Purchased Bumble Bee Foods for $980 million in 2011
- Purchased Cumbrian Seafoods in 2011
- Smith, Peter (2005-06-18). "COMPANIES UK: It is less than one year old but Lion Capital is roaring". Financial Times.
- Even the Smartest Money Can Slip Up (New York Times, 2001)
- All Saints bought by Lion Capital and Goode Partners for £105m The Telegraph, 2011-05-06
- Wagamama set for £215m sale to Duke Street Capital The Telegraph, 2011-03-09
- Suntory agrees to buy Orangina for €2.6bn Financial Times, 2009-09-27
- Jimmy Choo sells for £185m Financial Times, 2007-02-03
- Lion Capital signs agreement to sell Kettle Foods LionCapital.com
- American Apparel Sells Stake to Lion Capital WWD.com
- Lion Capital Taps JPMorgan Chase for $980 Million Bumble Bee Foods Buyout Bloomberg, 2010-11-05
- Lion Capital (company website)