Circular economy has ‘so much investment opportunity’; Oakley raises continuation fund

Oakley Capital has raised a continuation fund to extend its partnership with IU Group, a private university group in Germany.

We open today with some coverage of one of the panels at the Impact Investor Global Summit in London, which Nina Lindholm and I attended yesterday – and will be at again today. The panel focused on investing in the circular economy and featured speakers from Closed Loop Partners, Hamilton Lane and others.

Meanwhile, we’ve been hearing a lot from private equity professionals about the growing scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions by competition authorities and how it could impact dealmaking. There were further signs of that trend as the US authorities sued to block a big healthcare merger.

Deals-wise, we have Oakley Capital raising a continuation fund for one of its education investments, Sagard Healthcare and HealthCare Royalty Partners agreeing a deal involving royalty rights and Freshstream Investment Partners has agreeing to make an investment in an outsourcing firm.

Circular economy

Nina Lindholm and I attended the Impact Investor Global Summit in London yesterday (and we’ll be there today too – drop me a note at if you’d like to meet) and I caught a panel on investing in the circular economy.

One of the key points on the circular economy is that it is “not recycling 2.0”, explained panellist Joe Rodgers, programme manager, finance initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an NGO focused on transitioning to a circular economy.

Tazia Smith, chief operating officer and head of capital partnerships at investment firm Closed Loop Partners, added that one of the key requirements was “keeping materials in play”.

According to moderator Malu van Santen, co-founder and partner at investment collaboration platform Collective Action, while the circular economy market is maturing, there is “so much investment opportunity out there”.

Despite that maturation though, Smith said that the biggest investments in the circular economy tend to be for €30 million to €100 million in enterprise value and that there were “plenty early-stage options, which may be why funds are smaller”. She hoped to build platforms large enough for the big funds to buy.

Investments in the circular economy also don’t need to be about the latest in tech, said Jérôme Kamm, vice president, direct equity investments at investment manager Hamilton Lane.

“It doesn’t always require cutting-edge technology to get this done,” he said. He said often companies can come up with solutions using tech that “already exits – just applied in a different way”.


We wrote extensively back in January about how the race between Bain Capital and Triton Partners to take Finnish construction firm Caverion private was a harbinger of things to come as regulators take an ever closer look at competition concerns in mergers.

There was some more evidence of that yesterday, after the US Federal Trade Commission sued to block US biopharma company Amgen’s $27.8 billion deal to acquire Horizon Therapeutics, a biopharma company based in Ireland.

The FTC said in a statement that “the deal would allow Amgen to leverage its portfolio of blockbuster drugs to entrench the monopoly positions of Horizon medications used to treat two serious conditions, thyroid eye disease and chronic refractory gout”.

That particular deal might not have had private equity involvement, but as an antitrust lawyer told me back in January: “You’ve had this discussion, primarily in the US, about private equity and potential harm that’s being done. This has been triggered, I think, by the huge wave [of deals] that we saw over the last couple of years.

“In Europe we’ve not had the same type of statements coming out of the European Commission, but one can always say that when topics come up on either side of the Pond, it’s usually only a matter of time until that starts on the corresponding side.”

While we’re talking about Caverion, a quick update on that potential deal. Triton said in a statement today that it was extended its offer period until 31 July and that it had obtained foreign direct investment control approval for the tender offer in Finland and Denmark and “expects to receive the approval relating to foreign direct investment control in the remaining relevant jurisdiction before the end of May 2023″.

It added: “After the final approval relating to foreign direct investment control has been received, the Tender Offer is with respect to regulatory approvals conditional only on merger control clearance.”


Oakley Capital has raised a continuation fund to extend its partnership with IU Group, a private university group in Germany.

IU is based in Erfurt and provides online learning to adults and high school leavers. The company is expected to deliver around €500 million in revenues in 2023.

Oakley’s continuation fund is backed by investors including TPG GP Solutions, HarbourVest Partners, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Glendower Capital and Pantheon.

The continuation fund will acquire IU alongside Oakley Capital Fund V from Oakley Capital Fund III.

Oakley Capital Fund III will realise a gross return of 85 percent IRR on its exit subject to completion, according to a release.

“They have consistently delivered on their ambitious targets, improved student outcomes, innovating with AI driven delivery, and expanding into new verticals and geographies,” said Peter Dubens, Oakley Capital managing partner and co-founder.

Royalty rights

Sagard Healthcare and HealthCare Royalty Partners (HCRx) have agreed to buy a royalty interest in Hemgenix from uniQure, an Amsterdam-based gene therapy company.

UniQure will sell a portion of the royalty rights due to it from CSL Behring from the net sales of Hemgenix, a gene therapy that reduces the rate of abnormal bleeding in people with haemophilia B. The gross purchase price is up to $400 million in cash.

The deal is expected to close no later than 15 business days from signing.

UniQure will receive an upfront cash payment of $375 million in exchange for the lowest royalty tier on CSL Behring’s net sales of Hemgenix, up to 1.85x the purchase price until 30 June 2032 or, if such a cap is not met by 30 June 2032, then up to 2.25x the purchase price through 31 December 2038.

UniQure is eligible to receive an additional $25 million milestone payment if 2024 net sales of Hemgenix exceed a pre-specified threshold.

UniQure will retain the rights to all other royalties under its existing commercialisation and licence agreement with CSL Behring.


Freshstream Investment Partners has agreed to make an investment in MCR Group, an outsourced services company.

MCR provides cleaning, security, engineering, and personnel services and is based in Dublin, Ireland. The company has over 3,000 employees.

MCR plans to expand further across Ireland, including via acquisitions with Freshstream’s support, according to a release.