Zeus Private Equity, the firm that spun out of Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity in 2005, has rebranded itself as Palatine Private Equity.
Following the rebrand, the firm will continue to operate from its established offices in Manchester, Bristol and London, and maintain its current investment strategy of investing in buyout and buy-and-build opportunities in the UK regions.
When the firm launched in 2005, it did so with backing from Manchester-based investment bank Zeus Capital. The problem of sharing similar names has prompted the rebrand.
Palatine managing partner Gary Tipper said: “When we launched in 2005, we did so with the support of the Zeus Group, and the instant recognition that came with the name worked to our advantage. But as we have grown and developed the business over the last couple of years, the similarity in names has caused confusion in the market.”
Tipper formed Palatine together with Ed Fazakerley and Tony Dickin. The trio had previously worked together at Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity.
The team closed their maiden fund in December 2007 at £100m (€118.7m), of which more than 50 per cent has since been invested. Palatine’s portfolio currently comprises oil and gas recruitment company Air Energi, integrated services provider MJ Quinn, IT network service provider Electranet, and hotel chain Hallmark Hotels.
Palatine exited its investment in telecommunications provider XLN Telecom in September 2010, after three consecutive years of profit growth. The secondary buyout generated a 4.5x return for Palatine and its investors.
Tipper said: “Having recently completed our first successful exit and reached our five-year anniversary within the space of a few months, now is the perfect time to emphasise that we are a well-established and independent business.”
He added: “Whilst the name may have changed, our business model hasn’t. We are still very much a partner-led organisation in which the partners are actively involved in the deals we do. This provides management teams and advisers with much greater certainty of deliverability.
Palatine plans to begin raising its second fund, and its first since the rebrand, later this year.