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ECI collaborate with management teams, working together to build successful businesses.

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A Track Record of Success

We are one of the most experienced Private Equity firms in the UK with:

40

Years of Private Equity Investing

253

Investments Completed

10

UK Focused Private Equity Funds

Our Investments

We work with entrepreneurs and ambitious management teams over the long-term to achieve sustainable growth.

Helen James, Investis CEO
Ben Hood, Fourth CEO
Peter Liney, Great Rail Journeys CEO

Team

Continuity and shared experience are central to the way we work, so the team you partner with at the beginning will work alongside you throughout the course of the investment.

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News and Insights

ECI exits rhubarb...

06 Dec 2016

ECI Partners today announces the sale of our investment in rhubarb to Livingbridge generating a multiple of 3.1x cost to investors and a 32% IRR. 

The successful exit of rhubarb is another example of how we collaborate with management teams, combining their knowledge with our experience and working together to build successful businesses.  This is our fourth exit of 2016 following on from Citation, Kelvin Hughes Chartco and Reed & Mackay.  rhubarb is the seventh exit from ECI 9; all seven achieved over 3x money taking the overall realised return of the fund to 4.4x. 

Originally established in 1996 as an events business, rhubarb expanded its activities in 2003 to include longer-term contracts at iconic, high footfall locations, initially by providing high-end catering at Ascot Racecourse. 

Today, the company operates at venues including the Sky Garden at the “Walkie Talkie” building in London, the Royal Albert Hall and events at the Goodwood Estate. It also provides bespoke catering solutions at around 600 events per year for a broad range of clients, from high profile charity galas for 2,000 guests to small, intimate dinners in country venues. rhubarb will also be opening a flagship restaurant at the recently renovated Centre Point building in late 2017, adding to its Central London portfolio. 

With offices in London and Surrey, the firm now employs 250 full time members of staff alongside over 900 temporary staff. 

ECI invested in rhubarb in 2012 for a minority stake to support the team in growing the business and take advantage of the considerable number of business development opportunities. Highlights over the period include:

  • After winning the contract to operate the restaurants and bars in Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, rhubarb has delivered one of the most exciting new venues in London for the 1 million annual visitors
  • rhubarb has grown revenue and average spend per head by 87% at the Royal Albert Hall compared to the performance of the previous contractor, allowing the charity which runs the Royal Albert Hall to invest more in entertaining the 1.7m annual visitors
  • In 2015, the Earl of March selected rhubarb to cater for his 800,000 annual visitors at events such as Qatar Goodwood Festival (popularly known as Glorious Goodwood), Goodwood Revival and the Festival of Speed
  • Total revenue at rhubarb has more than doubled since ECI’s investment (a CAGR of 21%).
  • In 2016, the team at rhubarb won the team of the year at the BVCA Management Team Awards in the South East

PB Jacobse, CEO of rhubarb, said:

“We have really enjoyed working with ECI to build and grow rhubarb and are now very excited about the next stage of our development. We are ideally positioned to benefit from positive market trends and current consumer tastes and, with a good level of visibility over our existing contracts, as well as a strong pipeline of new growth opportunities, we are confident of building on the strong momentum we have generated to date.”

Paul McCreadie, a Partner at ECI said: 

“It has been fantastic to work with PB and all the team at rhubarb. Their talent and hard work combined with our experience of helping growth companies has created a wonderful business, with strong growth dynamics and a consistently premium offering. We look forward to staying in touch as they continue to host future ECI events.”

Congratulations to the...

01 Dec 2016

Congratulations to the winners of the ECI sponsored B2B Business of the Year and Consumer Business of the Year at this year’s Growing Business Awards!

MVF, whose platform helps ambitious businesses grow by delivering high volumes of new customers, was awarded B2B Business of the Year.

The stylish and innovative homeware brand, Joseph Joseph, won Consumer Business of the Year, a brand new category created this year by ECI.

“Congratulations to MVF and Joesph Joseph on winning the B2B and Consumer Business of the Year awards – the quality of people who have been driving innovation and growth in the shortlists has been really strong. It was a privilege to meet such an impressive group of companies, and it was a tightly fought contest with a number of the shortlisted businesses very close to winning.”

Richard Chapman, Head of Business Services, and George Moss, Head of Consumer at ECI.

rhubarb secures...

02 Nov 2016

We are delighted to announce that rhubarb, the premium food experience brand and event caterer, has secured a £90m six year contract renewal with the Royal Albert Hall.

rhubarb has provided hospitality catering services to the Royal Albert Hall since January 2011, nearly doubling the catering turnover despite a similar show count and visitor numbers. The growth has come from the vastly improved quality of food and service delivered by rhubarb across all their restaurants, hospitality and bars at the iconic venue; as well as the integration of modern technologies to increase the speed of service.  

rhubarb will continue to operate six venues and 14 bars including Verdi, The Café Bar, Coda Restaurant, Cloudy Bay and Elgar Bar & Grill and to cater to the private boxes within the auditorium. Working alongside the Royal Albert Hall, a new bar concept has been developed with the support of premium drinks brands including Moët & Chandon and Berry Bros. & Rudd.

A new catering vision has been jointly agreed for the future which aims to continue to improve the overall guest experience, as well as revenue growth at the Royal Albert Hall, putting rhubarb in prime position to support the venue’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2021.  

PB Jacobse, Managing Director at rhubarb comments: “We are delighted to have been awarded a second six-year contract with the Royal Albert Hall. We are very proud of our association with this famed London institution and the contract renewal is a testament to how hard the rhubarb team at the Royal Albert Hall work.”

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