Permira backs growth of UK law firm

The UK regional law firm will benefit from a multi-million pound loan from Permira’s second debt fund, which has invested 80% of the £800m committed to the platform.

Knights, a UK-based law firm, has secured a multi-million pound loan from Permira Debt Managers (PDM), the private debt investment arm of Permira.

Neither party disclosed the exact figure, although the debt facility was supplied by Permira Credit Solutions II.

PDM raised €800 million, according to PDI research, and it is understood to be over 80 percent invested. A spokesmen for the firm declined to comment on plans for a third fundraise.

The commercial law firm, which employs 500 people, has six offices across the UK, but no base in London. Knights was the first UK commercial law firm to be granted an alternative business structure licence, according to a statement. The latest injection of capital is part of the firm’s plan to grow without diluting its equity holding.

David Beech, chief executive of Knights, said: “The investment has allowed us to achieve significant capital support without any change of ownership, management, structure or impacting our team culture and ethos.”

Thomas Kyriakoudis, chief investment officer at Permira Debt Managers, said: “Knights exemplifies the type of successful business PDM backs and we are delighted to become a finance partner to support the management team in their future growth and strategy.”

Last month, PDM closed its fourth CLO platform after garnering €275 million in commitments. The vehicle, Sigma IV, has a European-focused strategy that invests in both the primary and secondary markets. It focuses on the junior parts of the CLO capital structure.

In potentially good news for the firm, an investment panel on the North Yorkshire Pension Fund recommended allocating £60 million ($73 million; €66.5 million) to PDM’s fund. It is part of the pension fund’s plan to commit £120 million to the asset class, which would be 5 percent of its total portfolio. A final decision on the investment by the pension fund is yet to be made.