Private equity group was co-founded by Randl Shure and Cavan-born Seamus FitzPatrick
The widow of the co-founder of Seamus FitzPatrick’s multi-billion euro Capvest private equity group is suing the firm in London for alleged breach of contract, the Irish Independent has learned.
Alison McIntyre Shure, whose husband Randl died in 2011, controls shares in the investment firm via a trust, it’s understood.
North Carolina-based lawyer Stuart Mills, also a current director at London-based Capvest Ltd, has also sued the company as part of the same legal action.
Capvest previously owned Valeo, which owns brands such as Odlums and Jacobs. It also owned a majority stake in the Mater Private hospital group.
Lawyers in London for Ms Shure and Mr Mills declined to comment on the case when contacted. Capvest has also declined to comment on the legal action.
The case against three units of Capvest was initiated just this week. Ms Shure and Mr Mills are being represented by the London office of Los Angeles-headquartered Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
Capvest is being represented by the UK arm of New York-headquartered Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Randl ‘Randy’ Shure and Cavan-born Mr FitzPatrick co-founded Capvest in 1999. The pair were long-standing friends and associates, having both worked at Bankers Trust. A graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, low-key Mr FitzPatrick had previously held roles at companies including Morgan Stanley.
Mr Shure chaired the Capvest board and was an active board member of nearly all the firm’s portfolio companies.
In the past two decades, Capvest has generated some strong returns for its investors.
In 2010, Capvest agreed to create Valeo Foods by combining the food business of Origin Foods with Batchelors. That enabled Origin to spin off its food business.
Valeo went on to complete a number of bolt-on deals that created a pan-European food group with annual sales of €1.25bn and 4,500 employees. Capvest was the majority owner.
Capvest sold Valeo to Bain Capital in 2021.
In 2007, just before the financial crash, Capvest bought just more than a 50pc stake in the Mater Private in a deal that then valued the healthcare group at about €350m.
In 2018, Capvest’s Harbourvest fund sold the Mater Private to French infrastructure group Infravia. That sale was thought to have valued Mater Private at about €500m.
Capvest retains a number of investments in portfolio companies involved in a range of sectors from food production to healthcare.
Last summer, it agreed to buy Natra, a Spanish chocolatier. Established in 1943, it makes chocolate bars, spreads and other products that it sells in more than 90 countries. It generated turnover of €410m in 2021, employs 1,000 people and has six production plants across Spain, Belgium, France and Canada.
In April last year, Capvest bought Second Nature Brands, a maker of products such as fruit and nut mixes.