Piper, the private equity group, which formerly backed Pitcher & Piano and Las Iguanas, has raised £107m through its fifth fund and plans to invest it in businesses across the retail, leisure, consumer products and services sectors with turnovers of between £5m to £50m. The company said the new fund, which is nearly twice the size of its previous fund, Piper IV, would continue to focus on management buyouts, management buy-ins and growth capital investments. It said it would concentrate on fast-growing brands while avoiding the “cyclical and lower-priced end of the retail and consumer markets”. Piper developed the idea for the Pitcher & Piano bar chain, and funded its start-up in 1986, eventually selling the chain to Marston’s in 1996 for £20m. In 2002, it invested £3.4m into Metrodiner, the holding company for Las Iguanas, exiting the chain five years later, after it was acquired in a £27m management buyout backed by Bowmark capital. Piper said it achieved a return of about six times its investment from the chain. Investors in its latest fund include the global fund of funds business Adams Street Partners, family offices such as Wittington Investments (majority stake owner of Associated British Foods plc) and a range of high net worth individuals such as Charles Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse. Chris Curry, managing partner of Piper, said: ’We are delighted to have raised this fund so quickly in such a difficult economic environment. The large majority of existing investors have continued to support us and we have attracted some very high quality new investors. We now have the resources to help the next wave of emerging consumer brands to fulfil their potential. We achieve this by partnering high quality management teams and carefully nurturing these businesses through their ‘adolescence’.”