Mayfair Equity Partners serves up two investments as it says it is prepared for potential consumer slowdown

Lucy White
Mayfair Equity Partners Promise SuperAwesome
Mayfair believes gluten-free bakery Promise would survive an consumer downturn due to secular trends such as healthy eating (Source: Getty)

Mayfair Equity Partners has served up two investments today, in gluten-free bakery Promise and kids' media-focused tech company SuperAwesome.

Ireland-based Promise sells products across the UK, the US and Australia, in shops including Costco, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

The investment in SuperAwesome – a tech business which ensures children's digital media products from brands such as Lego and Peppa Pig comply with rules and regulations – amounted to £20m, City A.M. understands, and was clearly enough to sway founder Dylan Collins from his mooted plan to float.

Today's flurry of deals continues a small spree by Mayfair, a private equity firm which focuses on the consumer and technology sectors, at an interesting time in the market.

With inflation high in comparison to wage growth, and Brexit uncertainty ever-present, data from sources such as Yougov and Deloitte has shown consumer confidence falling.

Read more: "Greater-than-evens chance" of recession as prop of consumer spending is removed, warn experts

“We are currently anticipating a slowdown in the UK and, to the extent that it affects any businesses we are invested in, we have baked in the very real prospect of a consumer-led slowdown,” said Mayfair's Daniel Sasaki.

“That causes us to live by what we say, which is that we're not cyclical investors.”

Instead, Sasaki believes that businesses such as Promise and SuperAwesome are benefiting from strong secular trends which will carry them through potential turmoil.

Added to this, many in the private equity industry are worrying that prices are being pushed up to unsustainable levels by the flood of capital currently saturating the market.

Read more: Heavyweight UK buyout funds take advantage of “frothy” markets to launch record new funds

But according to Sasaki, this may not be the case in the UK's less frequently mined lower mid market.

“The valuation parameters that we have used historically are today exactly the same. We haven't had to overpay for deals in order to invest at a good rate,” he said.

Mayfair raised its debut fund, of £400m, at the end of last year and has now invested just over half of it.

The firm hopes to complete “at least one or two” more deals this year, with the aim of deploying around another ten per cent of its fund.

Read more: Former owner raises a new £205m investment fund as UK's lower mid market defies the Brexit gloom

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