2006’s largest VC fund

Glasgow-based Scottish Equity Partners raised approximately €238m for its new fund SEP III, successfully completing the largest venture fund raising in Europe for the last 12 months. The fund raising marks the second time in five years that SEP has raised a fund in excess of €149m and SEP’s managing director, Calum Paterson, said its success represented a vote of confidence not only in SEP but also in the UK venture capital market which is the most vibrant in Europe.

The fund closed over-subscribed and above target, attracting strong support from existing investors as well as from a number of blue-chip European financial institutions that have invested in SEP for the first time. Existing investors that backed the new fund included Capital Dynamics; the European Investment Fund; Foreign & Colonial Private Equity Trust; and Royal Bank of Scotland, while new investors include Co-operative Insurance Society; Etera Mutual Pension Insurance Company; Finama; Gartmore; Scottish Widows Investment Partnership; Skandia Life; and Swiss Re Private Equity.

Hamish Mair, head of private equity funds at F&C Asset Management, said: “SEP has come through the difficult years for venture capital very well. Its highly successful fund raising is evidence of real energy and dogged Scottish tenacity which has also been deployed equally effectively in its portfolio of investments.”

SEP has completed the investment programme for its €149m SEP II fund, investing in 30 UK emerging and growing technology companies. SEP III will follow the same strategy, focusing on three core areas – information technology, healthcare and life sciences and energy-related technology.

“We are looking to build on our previous success in identifying companies with world-class, leading-edge technology and the ability to achieve success on a global scale,” Paterson commented.

SEP has funds under management of more than €446m. The firm has three specialist investment teams dedicated to information technology; healthcare and life sciences; and energy-related technology. It invests in both early stage and emerging growth companies and typically invests from €743,000 up to €7.43m or more in financings of up to €44.5m.