By Max Clarke

One in four leading entrepreneurs interviewed by Investec Specialist Private Bank will be looking to private equity and venture capitalists to raise capital in 2011.

James Stirling, Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance, said: “Many entrepreneurs are looking to grow their businesses this year, with 44% expecting to launch new ventures and a further 31% believing that it is ‘quite likely’ that they will do this. However, their plans could be put on hold because many still fear that access to capital could be difficult. Only 6% of those we interviewed expect it to be easy to raise funds during 2011.

“We see this as a huge opportunity for us, and as a specialist private bank we are looking to lend over £1 billion this year to entrepreneurs with a strong track record. This is also an exciting time for private equity and venture capitalists, many of whom we partner with when it comes to providing funds to our clients.”

Recently, Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance, part of Investec Specialist Private Bank, announced the formal expansion of its offering with the inclusion of senior debt and preferred equity to its portfolio of core lending capabilities. This was in response to increased demand from Investec’s clients and mid-market private equity funds for innovative financing packages to help them complete deals in the current climate. Indeed, two of the team’s most recent deals, the Snow+Rock MBO supported by LGV Capital and the buyout of Brandon Hire by Rutland Partners, have included senior debt provided by Investec.

The new ‘Preferred Equity’ offering is designed to support private equity deals in situations where a mezzanine debt package may not be appropriate. This includes instances where senior lenders do not want to see cash yield being paid to a mezzanine provider..

Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance works with entrepreneurs, management teams and private equity houses to provide finance of between £5 million - £30 million to UK mid-market companies. The division’s flexible solutions cover the entire capital structure offering asset-based and cashflow senior lending, mezzanine finance and minority equity on either a standalone or integrated basis.