Better Capital writes down two firms and sells Reader’s Digest

Michael Bow
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BETTER Capital, the company led by private equity veteran Jon Moulton, yesterday said it would have to write down the value of companies held in one of its portfolios after poor trading.

The company said that office supply company Spicers would see lower revenues this year than last year due to problems at its distribution centre while aerospace manufacturer Gardner is not expected to reach the same level of profitability as last year, the company said.

Both firms represent about 42 per cent of the value of the firm’s first fund, which was raised in 2009.

“The board shares the frustrations expressed by shareholders at the recent developments in fund 1 and has received reassurances that the key issues are being firmly addressed,” the company said in a statement.

There was brighter news for another of its portfolio companies, fashion retailer Jaeger, which reported a 23 per cent increase in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period.

Meanwhile the firm confirmed it had sold Reader’s Digest to media mogul Mike Luckwell for a nominal sum. Luckwell used to back HIT Entertainments, which made kids TV show Bob the Builder.

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