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F&C Ventures bought out by management

Foreign & Colonial&#39s private equity arm F&C Ventures has been bought by its management for an undisclosed fee.

The operation, which has funds under management of about £500m, will be renamed Graphite Capital.

The buyout follows Hypover- einsbank&#39s sale of its 90 per cent stake in Foreign & Colonial earlier this year.

The firm manages six funds, of which its biggest and best known is the Foreign & Colonial enterprise trust (Facet).

The £300m fund is the best-performing investment trust across all sectors over the past 10 years with a return of around 740 per cent, according to Standard & Poor&#39s Micropal.

Facet will change its name to the Graphite enterprise trust, subject to shareholder approval, but will remain otherwise unchanged and will continue to be included in the Foreign & Colonial Saving Schemes. It has not yet been decided whether other funds will be renamed.

Graphite&#39s 12 investment managers own 100 per cent of the business, with the rest of the firm&#39s employees taking part in a profit-sharing scheme.

Managing partner Rod Richards says: “The ownership has changed but our approach has not – it is the same team doing the same things in the same way. We have built up a strong track record by investing in mid-market companies and this focus will not change as we believe these companies offer the best prospects for high returns.

“We will consider any sector, including some not favoured by other private equity investors such as financial services and retail. Investing in cyclical and unfashionable businesses has served us well in the past and should continue to do so.”

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