In October 2006 Graphite Capital led the £70 million management buy-out of NES Global Talent, a leading provider of specialist engineers to the global oil and gas, power and infrastructure industries.

Based in Manchester, the company’s customer base comprises large blue-chip organisations, including all major oil companies and many large international engineering businesses.

NES rolled out 20 new offices under Graphite’s ownership, taking the total around the world to 32. Staff numbers more than doubled to around 450 and the company more than trebled the number of contractors on its books to nearly 5,000 in 62 countries. 

The company was transformed from being predominantly UK focused into a global operator, with three-quarters of its profitability now generated overseas, across all continents. NES grew EBITDA organically every year from 2006 to 2012 despite the difficult economic climate. Net fee income more than doubled and EBITDA trebled under Graphite’s ownership. 

In October 2012, NES was sold for £234 million to funds advised by AEA Investors LP in a tertiary buy-out, generating a significant multiple of original cost.

NES has continued to develop its suite of value added services which it provides to both contractors and corporate customers. The company has opened 18 new offices, principally in its expanding overseas business, almost doubling sales and operating profit under Graphite’s ownership. The fast growing overseas business now accounts for 65% of group revenues and for over 60% of the group’s 3,700 contractors. The company also has a permanent placement business which accounts for approximately 15% of net fee income.

Past Specific Recommendations Disclaimer: The selected examples and case studies presented in or referred to herein may not be representative of all transactions of a given type or of investments generally, and are merely intended to be illustrative of some of the types of investment techniques or transaction types that may be made or used by ICG Enterprise Trust plc (the “Enterprise Trust”). In addition, the specific investments presented herein do not include all of the investments that were made by the Enterprise Trust and may not be representative examples of its investments or investment strategies or techniques generally. It should not be assumed that the specific investments identified and discussed herein were or will be profitable or that any investments made in the future will equal the performance of the investments identified herein. Any discussion herein of past investment opportunities should not be relied upon as any indication of future deal flow. Investors will not have an opportunity prior to investing to evaluate any of the investments to be made by the Enterprise Trust or the relevant economic, financial and other information regarding such investments and, accordingly, will be entirely dependent upon the judgment and ability of the Enterprise Trust in investing and managing the capital of a fund. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results, and there can be no assurance that any fund will achieve comparable results, that the returns generated by the Enterprise Trust will equal or exceed those of any other fund, vehicle or account or that the Enterprise Trust fund will be able to implement its investment strategy or achieve its investment objectives.

Key stats

  • Exit Value: £234m
  • Country: UK
  • Date invested: 2006
  • Date realised: 2012


The information contained herein and on the pages that follow does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to acquire or subscribe for, any securities in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is unlawful or would impose any unfulfilled registration, qualification, publication or approval requirements on ICG Enterprise Trust PLC (the "Company") or its affiliates or agents. Equity securities in the Company have not been and will not be registered under the applicable securities laws of the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa. The equity securities in the Company referred to herein and on the pages that follow may not be offered or sold within the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa, or to any U.S. person ("U.S. Person") as defined in Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act"), or to any national, resident or citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa.

The promotion of the Company and the distribution of this website and the materials contained by it in the United Kingdom are restricted by law. Accordingly, this website and any materials contained by it should only be accessed by, and are directed only at:

(i) persons outside the United Kingdom to whom it is lawful to communicate to; or

(ii) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments who fall within the definition of "investment professionals" in Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (as amended); or

(iii) high net worth companies, unincorporated associations and partnerships and trustees of high value trusts as described in Article 49(2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (as amended),

provided that in each case the website and any materials in are only directed at persons who are "qualified investors" as defined in article 2(1)(e) of Directive 2003/71/EC (as amended) (the "Prospectus Directive") ("Relevant Persons"). Accordingly, this website does not constitute, and does not contain the information required to be contained in, a prospectus as required under the Prospectus Directive.

This website is communicated by ICG Alternative Investment Limited (“ICG AIL”), which is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. In communicating this website ICG AIL is acting for the Company and is not responsible for advising persons viewing this website or any other person, or for providing them with the protections which would be given to those who are clients of ICG AIL under the rules of the FCA.

The information on the pages that follow may contain forward looking statements. Any statement other than a statement of historical fact is a forward looking statement. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward looking statement. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. You should not place undue reliance on any forward looking statement, which speaks only as of the date of its issuance.

Your access to this website is governed by the above terms. The Company may change these terms. The changes will be posted on the website. Your access to this website is governed by the version of these terms then in force.

By clicking "I understand and agree" below, you represent, warrant and agree that you (1) have read and understood these terms and the other information set out above, (2) agree to be bound by the terms, (3) do not have a registered address in, and are not resident or located in, the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa (or, if you do, you will not seek to make any investment in the securities of the Company), (4) are not a U.S. Person or a national, resident or citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa (or, if you are, you will not seek to make any investment in the securities of the Company), (5) are permitted under applicable laws and regulations to receive the information contained in the pages that follow, and (6) agree that you will not transmit or otherwise send any information contained in this website to any person in the United States or to any U.S. Person for the purpose of that person considering an investment in the securities of the Company, or to any publication with a general circulation in the United States.

If you cannot so certify and agree, you must click the button labelled "I decline" or otherwise exit this website.