A majority stake in fitness and nutrition platform 7NXT is the first investment of the new fund
Portrait photo of Peter Dubens, Oakley managing partner
Peter Dubens, Oakley managing partner. Photo as seen on his LinkedIn profile

Oakley Capital, the Western Europe-focused private equity firm, has announced the close of its Origin Fund with expected final commitments of €455 million. Following strong investor demand, Origin was raised in just over six months and closed well above its target size of €350 million.

Origin is Oakley’s first vehicle focused on investing in lower mid-market companies, building on the firm’s track record of investing in this segment.

Peter Dubens, managing partner at Oatkley, said: “We are delighted with the level of backing for the Origin Fund and are grateful for the support we have received from both new and existing investors.

“Oakley’s heritage is based on investing in and growing lower mid-market businesses, and so we are excited to now have a fund dedicated to this segment, alongside Oakley Capital Fund IV, which is investing in mid-market companies.”

Fund focus and strategy

The Origin Fund applies Oakley’s proven growth-focused investment strategy and focus on Western European buyout opportunities in the technology, consumer and education sectors to smaller-sized companies.

The fund will invest between €10 million and €50 million in lower mid-market businesses with typical enterprise values of up to €100 million.

Oakly’s Fund IV closed at €1.46 billion in June 2019, so the company believes the Origin Fund is a natural step for Oakley to continue its focus on companies in the lower-mid market.

The private equity house reported that its realised and unrealised track record in this segment has been 3.6x gross multiple of invested capital and 63% gross internal rate of return as of 30 December 2020.

Origin Fund portfolio

Oakley said the Origin Fund has a strong pipeline of attractive deal opportunities and signed its first investment, 7NXT, just three months after the fund was launched. The company acquired a majority stake in the company in a deal worth €42.6 million.

7NXT, an online fitness and nutrition platform in the German-speaking markets, comprises three businesses: Gymondo, the leading female-focused online fitness subscription platform; Shape Republic, a direct-to-consumer fitness nutrition and supplements brand; and Brand Solutions, 7NXT’s complementary merchandising and licensing division.

For Oakley, the deal that led to acquiring a majority stake in 7NXT demonstrates its ability to leverage its wide network and reputation as an attractive business partner for entrepreneurs. The deal was sourced through Oakley’s existing relationship with chief executive Markan Karajica.

The Origin Fund attracted capital commitments from a broad range of high-quality investors, with almost three-quarters raised from existing investors, as well as meaningful commitments from Oakley’s entrepreneur network, which has been so effective at generating proprietary deal flow in previous Oakley funds.

Date published: 26 January 2021

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