Moulton eyes Better turnarounds

After his very public departure from Alchemy Partners, Jon Moulton has set up turnaround-focused Better Capital right on his old firm’s doorstep.

Jon Moulton has launched Better Capital, just weeks after leaving Alchemy Partners, the buyout firm he co-founded in 1997, over a strategy spat with his partners.

Up and running just around the corner from Alchemy’s offices in London’s Covent Garden, Better Capital will focus on turnarounds – the strategy from which Alchemy’s other partners reportedly intended to move away.

I would do it again – but better.

Jon Moulton

Moulton announced his departure from Alchemy in September via a letter to limited partners in which he openly criticised the financial services strategy being pursued by Alchemy and the abilities of the remaining management. He also called for dissolution of the firm's “Investment Plan”, which has been the main source of capital for its deal-making. The letter was signed off: “I would do it again – but better.”

Moulton described it as a “happy coincidence” that the previous company owning the Better Capital name was dissolved last week. “The team is coming together and plans are being progressed,” he added.

Moulton declined to comment on any fundraising process, saying that with funding from his “own back pocket”, Better would be able to complete a couple of deals.

“At the current time, [turnaround] opportunities are not concentrated in any specific sectors,” said Moulton, adding that he is currently running the slide rule over opportunities in engineering, financial services, professional services and logistics sectors.

Well known for launching stinging criticisms of the buyout industry from within, Moulton made headlines in 2000 when he launched an unsuccessful bid for failing UK car manufacturer Rover.

Moulton was previously been at Apax Partners, which he left after a falling out with the firm’s co-founder, Ronald Cohen. Before Apax, Moulton had also been the head of Schroder Ventures, now Permira, between 1985 and 1994. He began his career in private equity with Citicorp Venture Capital, which later became CVC Capital Partners.

He founded Alchemy in 1997 along with Martin Bolland and Eric Walters.