Duke Street fund breaks the €1 billion barrier

Duke Street Capital’s sixth fund has broken the €1 billion mark, providing some welcome news to the buyout firm after a summer where it has had to endure some negative coverage.

Duke Street Capital is set to close its first €1 billion fund, according to a source close to the company, following a sizeable commitment from Parallel Private Equity.

The fund-of-funds investor has committed €200 million to Duke Street’s fund over four years, pushing the total commitments beyond the €1 billion mark, the source said.

The buyout firm’s previous fund closed on €850 million ($1.2 billion).

With its latest investment in Duke Street, Parallel now allocates to seven managers, with other commitments including 3i and Barclays. When asked why his firm had provided such a large commitment, Parallel’s John Mackie told PEO: “Our only house rule is that we will never be more than half the fund.”  

The fundraising success is good news for Duke Street, which has attracted headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent months, following creditor losses at portfolio company Focus DIY and job losses at biscuit factory Burton’s, which were heavily criticised by local Labour MP Angela Eagle.

However, Duke Street managing partner Peter Taylor put up a robust defence of his firm at the third hearing of the UK Treasury Select Committee, arguing that it had lost money on just one of its deals since inception.

The firm has already being bouncing back on the deal front. It looks set to win the battle for UK dental business Oasis Healthcare after building a 33 percent stake and upping its bid to £88 million, while it has also teamed up with property investor Europa Partners to buy Jersey-based CI Traders. The deal, which completed this week, was a relatively unusual joint venture between a property investor and a buyout firm.