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06 June 2012

Gresham delivers second highly successful exit of year with sale of Marston Group

Gresham Private Equity, the UK mid market private equity specialist, today announces that it has successfully exited Marston Group through the sale of the business to Inflexion Private Equity. The performance of the Marston Group will result in a strong return on investment for Gresham.

Gresham led the management buy-out of Drakes, a leading enforcement business, from its private owner. As is typical of a Gresham investment, the plan was to professionalise and grow - both organically and through acquisition. Drakes then acquired the business of John Marston & Co, a market leader in enforcement of High Court writs, in 2008.

The combined business, re-named Marston Group, is now the foremost provider of judicial services across England and Wales, undertaking over 600,000 instructions each year and specialising in recovery of criminal fines, High Court writs, writs of possession, council tax liability orders, Child Support Agency liability orders and road traffic debts.

Under Gresham’s ownership the company has gone from strength to strength with company profit quadrupling. It was awarded Enforcement Team of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Ken Lawrence, Partner at Gresham, who led the exit said: “Marston Group has been a fantastic investment and it had been a pleasure to work with Gareth Hughes and his highly experienced team. Gresham wishes them the best of luck with their new backers Inflexion.”

Gareth Hughes, Marston Chief Executive, said: “I’d like to convey the Board’s sincere thanks to Ken and the Gresham team. They have been a great partner for us, and we are a better company for their advice, input and support over the course of the investment.”

Gresham has a sector specialism in financial services investments. Recent investments in the sector include Giles, LAS, IND Ltd. The Gresham sector team includes Andy Marsh, Christian Bruning and Simon Hemley.

Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance acted as exclusive financial adviser to Marston.