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The Firm invested in dress-for-less, now one of Europe’s largest on-line designer fashion retailers, in 2007 having recognised the strong trends driving growth in the value segment of on-line retail and backed the founder-led management team to execute an aggressive expansion strategy which included significant expansion across Europe. During Palamon’s ownership, staff numbers at the Company more than doubled and sales almost tripled yielding compound annual growth rates of more than 35% in revenue and profitability. In March 2011 the Firm sold dress-for-less to trade buyer, Privalia Venta Directa, generating a 3.0x return on invested capital and an IRR of 41%.
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Owen Wilson, Associate Principal at Palamon Capital Partners commented: “We are excited about partnering with Craig and Saleem through our investment in QualitySolicitors. The Company has significant first-mover advantage for consolidating the high-street legal services market. We share their vision for the future of the business and look forward to supporting them as they continue to rapidly scale their operations.”
Investment Thesis | Alliance Venture Partners
Louis Elson, Managing Partner, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Julian back to the Firm. His return is an endorsement of the strength of Palamon’s growth investing proposition as well as the breadth of our reach. With his extensive experience, Julian adds further depth to our investment capability across Europe in general and in Spain in particular, a country in which we have been an active investor and in which we continue to have very strong interest.”
VC investment thesis: Deep Space Ventures
Palamon invests in businesses led by strong entrepreneurs that are capable, with the support
of Palamon’s strong financial and strategic support, to access high rates of growth and build market leading companies of significant strategic value. Palamon generates investment returns by creating value in its portfolio companies through exceptional revenue growth, as highlighted with investment in dress-for-less. The Firm’s portfolio companies consistently demonstrate strong trading performance, with the portfolio as a whole reporting revenue growth of more than 20% per annum since the Firm’s inception in 1999. The strength of the portfolio has allowed the Firm to operate seamlessly through the recent downturn. The sale of dress-for-less is one of a series of strong exits and during 2011 the Firm has announced four exits of its portfolio companies amounting to €433 million in proceeds and which achieved an average return of 2.4x on invested capital.