Michelmores advise on sale of Mobeus VCT Fund Management business to Gresham House plc

Michelmores has advised long standing client Mobeus Equity Partners LLP (Mobeus) on the sale of its VCT Fund Management business to Gresham House plc, the specialist alternative asset manager and Manager of the Baronsmead VCTs.

The Mobeus VCT team, comprising Partners, Trevor Hope and Clive Austin, 14 staff and three consultants, are transferring to Gresham House.

Mobeus will continue to grow its institutional buyout business, investing in small-cap private equity transactions. Its four Partners and nine staff will take forward the business to focus exclusively on investing Mobeus Fund IV and raising its successor Fund V. The ongoing Mobeus business will be wholly owned by its four partners – Ashley Broomberg, Richard Babington, Justin Maltz and Chris Price.

The transaction marks the evolution of Mobeus, founded 23 years ago when the business first entered the VCT sector. Founded as GLE Development Capital in 1998, becoming Matrix Private Equity Partners in 2004 and Mobeus since 2012, the firm has become a leading name in UK SME investment. Having created a new institutional buyout business in 2015, separate from its VCT Fund management business, the de-merger marks the firm’s decision to focus on organic growth of this business, and to partner with another leading firm to take forward its VCT interests.

The deal is the catalyst for Mobeus Partner succession and sees the retirement of founder Partners, Mike Walker, Bob Henry and Eric Tung. Whilst also stepping down as Mobeus Partners, the deal sees Mark Wignall, Jonathan Gregory and Rob Brittain providing continuity, working with Mobeus and Gresham House.

The Michelmores team was led by Stephen Morse (Partner, Corporate), with support from across the firm, including Francesca Hubbard (Senior Associate, Corporate), David Thompson (Partner, Commercial), Andrew Tobey (Partner, Employment) and Harry Trick (Partner, Corporate).

Richard Babington, Partner at Mobeus commented:

“Stephen and the Michelmores team have been a trusted legal adviser for Mobeus’s portfolio investments in the South West for a number of years, so it was no-brainer to choose them to represent us in this key transaction for our own business. We look forward to many more years of collaboration between our two firms in the future.”

Stephen Morse of Michelmores commented:

“Mobeus’ VCT business has negotiated and made several successful investments across the South West over the last twenty years or so, and one way or another we have been involved in all of them. We have always enjoyed working with the Mobeus team, and are delighted to have been asked to advise them on this milestone transaction.”