GCP invests in Cooke Optics

Growth Capital Partners (“GCP”), the UK SME specialist private equity firm, has invested in Cooke Optics, a specialist provider of Academy Award Winning cinematography lenses for multiple film and digital applications. BCMS advised the shareholders of Cooke during the transaction.

First founded in 1886 and based in Leicester, Cooke is a major name in the international film production industry. Cooke’s products have been used to shoot historic expeditions, Hollywood productions and contemporary high-end films and television series including the Harry Potter franchise and Game of Thrones.

The business produces several specialist product ranges to achieve the premium cinematic look valued by cinematographers. GCP invested in September 2015 alongside the management team including Chairman Les Zellan and CEO Robert Howard.

Post-transaction developments

GCP realised its investment in Cooke in 2018, with Caledonia Investments plc investing in Cooke to support the next phase of growth, developing new products and investing in production capacity. Over the period of GCP’s investment, the business successfully developed new products and grew the range of Cooke lenses from four to seven, invested in a new production site, and achieved impressive financial growth.

Les Zellan, Chairman of Cooke, said: “GCP has been an excellent investment partner for Cooke. From our first meeting they have supported the business and delivered what they promised. Cooke has grown strongly in the last few years and is on an incredibly exciting journey. We look forward to investing in new and innovative products, increasing our production capacity and continuing to manufacture great lenses that cinematographers and film fans love”.

Garrett Curran, Managing Partner at GCP, said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with Les, Robert and Cooke. It has been a privilege to be involved in a world-class company and an integral piece of British cinema history. The management team has done a fantastic job in delivering on the growth plan and we were very impressed with the innovation, focus on quality and ambition throughout the business.”