Hutton Collins seeks liquidity for Fund III

The Byron Hamburgers owner is exploring secondary liquidity options for limited partners in its €600m mezzanine Fund III.

London-based private equity firm Hutton Collins Partners has said it is currently “exploring secondary liquidity” for its most recent fund, Hutton Collins Capital Partners III.

“Hutton Collins is in the process of exploring secondary liquidity in Fund III, taking advantage of the increasingly strong market for private equity secondaries investors,” the firm said in a statement. “The effort has been initiated by the manager as a number of existing LPs no longer participate in the asset class and might therefore seek to achieve early liquidity in this 2008 fund.”

Fund III closed on about €600 million in 2009. Limited partners in the fund include fund of funds F&C Asset Management, the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and the insurance group Aviva, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

Fund III has been active on the acquisition front, however. Earlier this year, Hutton Collins agreed to invest €50 million in Italian healthcare IT company Dedalus and last year it bought UK restaurant chain Byron Hamburgers from Cinven Group for £100 million. The firm later announced that the private equity group Paladin would become a co-investor in the hamburger company.

In January 2011, Hutton Collins led a £189 million refinancing for Caffè Nero with Goldman Sachs European Special Situations Group and Bayside Capital, according to a statement. The firm used Fund III to arrange £99 million in mezzanine debt and payment-in-kind financing, as well as contributing equity for the deal.

Hutton Collins invests in Western European businesses through preferred capital including mezzanine debt and preferred equity. The firm was founded in 2002 by Graham Hutton and Matthew Collins, according to its website.