RNS Number : 5685U
Caledonia Investments PLC
13 July 2018






Caledonia Investments plc ("Caledonia") is pleased to announce that it has acquired a majority stake in Cooke Optics Group Ltd ("Cooke"), the UK manufacturer of premium-end cinematography lenses for the film, television and advertising industries, in a transaction which values the business at £96.5m.


Founded as a lens manufacturer in 1886, Cooke has been at the centre of the film making business for over a century. Headquartered in Leicester, it is led by Les Zellan (Chairman), Robert Howard (Chief Executive Officer) and Alan Merrills (Chief Operating Officer) and has some 130 full time employees.


Caledonia has subscribed £62.5m of equity and £30.0m of debt to acquire approximately 89% of Cooke from its current owners, Growth Capital Partners and Cooke's management team. The management team have reinvested £7.8m of their sales proceeds for the remaining equity.


In its most recent audited consolidated accounts, being for its financial year to 30 June 2017, Cooke reported EBITDA of £7.7m and profit before tax of £2.8m, and at that date had gross assets of £33.8m.


Commenting on the acquisition, Duncan Johnson, Caledonia's Head of Unquoted Investments, said:


"We are delighted to have become owners of such an iconic business and brand as Cooke Optics. Its profitability and high cash generation, combined with its strong competitive position in the film making industry globally, makes it ideally suited to Caledonia's unquoted portfolio. We look forward to working with Les Zellan and his team to take advantage of growth opportunities deriving from Cooke's innovation in full-frame camera lens technology, increased demand from China and the expansion of the digital streaming market globally."


Les Zellan, Cooke's Chairman, commented:


"We are delighted to be partnering with Caledonia in the next phase of Cooke's development. Caledonia's reputation as a long term, supportive investor gives us confidence that we can continue building the Cooke legacy derived from over 130 years of supporting the film industry."


13 July 2018


For further information contact:



Caledonia Investments plc

+44 20 7802 8080

Will Wyatt,

Chief Executive


Stephen King,

Finance Director


Duncan Johnson,

Head of Unquoted Investments

Media contact:

Tulchan Communications

+44 20 7353 4200

Peter Hewer

Lisa Jarrett-Kerr

This announcement contains inside information in relation to Caledonia.




Notes for editors:


Caledonia Investments plc

Caledonia is a self-managed investment trust company listed on the London Stock Exchange with net assets of approximately £1.9bn as at 30 June 2018. The company maintains a concentrated portfolio of international quoted, unquoted and fund investments and has paid an increasing annual dividend for 51 years.


In the unquoted arena, Caledonia seeks to invest £25m to £100m in private companies, either on a majority or minority basis, providing a meaningful presence and growth capital supporting double-digit operating margins. Its current unquoted portfolio includes Cobehold (a European unquoted investment house), Seven Investment Management (a provider of discretionary fund management, asset management and self-invest platform services), Buzz Bingo (the UK market leading retail bingo operator), Choice Care Group (a UK learning disability care homes provider) and Liberation Group (the Channel Islands' market leading pub, restaurant and drinks business).


For additional information on Caledonia, please visit


Cooke Optics

Founded in 1886 and based in Leicester, Cooke manufacturers a wide range of lenses suitable for multiple film applications. For over a century, cinematographers have chosen Cooke lenses for the "Cooke Look", a sharp, subtle, smooth rendering that provides dimensionality and high contrast and pleases the eye.


For additional information on Cooke, please visit 



Caledonia's investment in Cooke was led by Chris Hodges, Alex Mills and Theo Tizard.


Travers Smith (Ian Shawyer, Adam Orr) and Alvarez & Marsal (Adrian Balcombe) respectively provided legal and financial due diligence advice to Caledonia. CiL Management Consultants (Tabitha Elwes) provided commercial due diligence advice and Deloitte (Tim Haden) provided tax advice. Wyvern Partners (Mike Barnes) provided debt advice.


PwC (Cara Haffey) and Squire Patton Boggs (Paul Mann) respectively provided corporate finance and legal advice to the vendors.




Neither the contents of Caledonia's nor Cooke's websites, nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on these websites (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

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