Sunday, 25 October 2009

Moulton the Phoenix

(By Richard Holway 2.00pm Sunday 25th Oct 09) “You can’t keep a good man down” they say. Certainly seems to be the case with our friend Jon Moulton. Less than two months after that rather spectacular exit from Alchemy (which he had founded) – see our 3rd Sept 09 post Moulton resigns from Alchemy – there is much media speculation that Moulton is about to announce that’s he’s setting up Better Capital. The name is said to have been inspired by the last sentence in that wonderful ‘leaving letter’ he wrote to shareholders and others when he said “I would do it again, but better".

As I said back in Sept, I've always rated Moulton - not least for his ability to call a shovel a bloody spade.

Initially Better Capital will use Moulton’s own cash but, once the FSA licence comes through, Better Capital will raise £100m listing on the Stock Exchange. Although not unknown, most private equity firms raise funds directly from investors like pension funds etc.

Bluntly, I can’t think of a better time to do this with valuations still depressed. Mouton has always had a bit of a soft spot for the IT sector – with investments like Radius, Phoenix, Sanderson (Civica, Talgentra, Tallyman and the 'new' Sanderson), Datapoint, INSTEM and, of course, Cedar/COA Solutions etc. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Better Capital include a sprinkling of IT in the portfolio.

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