New private equity business launches, backed by €600m in committed capital

Freshstream Capital today announces that it has closed on its maiden €600m private equity fund, backed solely by Bregal Investments, a family-backed investment fund, and will henceforth be known as Bregal Freshstream.

The firm will be focused on mid-market investments and is looking to invest between €30m and €100m of equity per investment in growth businesses across a wide variety of sectors, with a particular geographic focus on the UK and Benelux markets. Bregal Freshstream will look to acquire majority equity stakes in the companies in which it invests, though it also has the capability to invest across their entire capital structure, including in debt and debt-like instruments.

Given its investor structure, the business is somewhat distinct from other private equity firms, with a high degree of flexibility as to investment hold period and the capital structure of prospective portfolio companies. It will be focused principally on relationship based, bilateral transactions, being comfortable with highly complicated situations and taking a generally conservative approach to leverage.

Although the business is sector-agnostic, looking at each potential investment on its merits, the team has significant prior experience in industries such as healthcare, general manufacturing and financial services as well as the aerospace, retail, chemicals, building products and TMT markets.

The founding team at Bregal Freshstream comprises Managing Partner Patrick Smulders, a former co-founder of private equity firm Doughty Hanson and an Investment Committee member at TowerBrook from its inception; Chief Investment Officer Rayhan Davis, a former Managing Director and member of the founding team of TowerBrook; Pascal Keutgens, previously an Investment Committee member at Doughty Hanson; Adam McLain, the former European General Counsel at TowerBrook; Irmo Holslag, previously a business owner and a Principal at TowerBrook; and Giles Marshall, previously an Investment Manager at Bregal Capital.

The business has been actively recruiting in the run up to its formal launch with a team currently numbering eleven, based in the firm’s West London offices. It has also assembled a Venture Partner group comprising Reza Fardad and Giuseppe Silvestri, co-founders of Clavis Advisors, and is in the process of finalising an Advisory Group that will aid the business in the identification and diligence of potential investment opportunities.

Commenting on the launch of the business, Managing Partner Patrick Smulders said:

“I believe there is a real gap in the market for a private equity firm who is looking to partner with owners and management teams based on a relationship of trust, mutual respect and confidentiality and with a view to developing the business together and bringing it to the next level. Our investor structure provides us a high degree of flexibility with regards to hold periods and follow-on investments, thereby allowing the full value enhancement potential of the companies we acquire to be realised. We are all tremendously excited about teaming up with Bregal Investments.”