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Boutique Bacchus Capital expands into North America with veteran dealmaker hire

By Paul Clarke

Monday May 10, 2021 12:01 am

A boutique advisor set up by the former head of European investment banking at Jefferies four years ago, is opening its first office outside of the UK by launching in North America.

Bacchus Capital, headed by Peter Bacchus — a former senior dealmaker at Jefferies, who was also global head of metals and mining investment banking at Morgan Stanley — has hired veteran investment banker Steven Latimer to kick-start its new North America unit.

Latimer, who was latterly head of Canadian investment banking at Jefferies, will oversee Bacchus Capital's first office outside of London. He led Jefferies' Canadian investment bank for nearly nine years before his departure in December last year, and Bacchus said it was an opportunity to reunite with a trusted senior dealmaker he has worked with previously.

Bacchus said that the boutique, which focuses on natural resources and mining, has been working on deals in Canada and Australia since its inception in 2017, but that Latimer's hire marks a chance to launch its first physical presence elsewhere, as Covid-19 has scuppered travel.

Bacchus Capital now has 16 employees, including some senior advisors and has an advisory unit, a merchant banking arm and a venture capital division.

"Our vision for our Canadian office is to replicate what we have in the UK," said Bacchus in an interview with Financial News. "We have built a team of more than dozen people working across highly-tactical public market M&A deals and a team focused on investments in entrepreneurial ventures. There's a great opportunity set in the Canadian market."

Bacchus Capital has advised on around 30 deals including IPOs and M&A transactions since launching in 2017. 

Bacchus' co-founders are Paul Cahill, former group head of business development at Anglo American plc; Chris Johannsen, previously a founder of Australian boutique advisory firm Gryphon Partners and former Morgan Stanley banker, Richard Allan.

Bacchus is an investment banking veteran who has worked on some of the biggest deals in the natural resources career during a career that has stretched over 20 years. In 2008, he mounted a defence for mining giant Rio Tinto as rival BHP Billiton made a mammoth $66bn hostile takeover bid.

Among the boutique's most high-profile deals is its flotation of uranium company, Yellow Cake. Bacchus started the company with the aim of buying up big quantities of uranium and storing it in anticipation of a price rise. The firm then raised also between $160m and $200m via an IPO to fund the purchases. In February, Bacchus Capital advised Yellow Cake on a fund-raising round of $140m.

Bacchus said that the firm is also planning on building out its UK business this year, largely with junior hires.

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