A3.5 billion close for Schroder Ventures

Having raised A3 billion of its second regional private equity fund in a record three months (see EVCJ June 2000, page 12) Schroder Ventures has announced the final close of Schroder Ventures European Fund II at A3.5 billion. The closing was delayed slightly by a structure put in place for smaller institutional and private investors. But investment has got off to a great start with 25 per cent of the fund already committed.

The total amount at closing includes the A3.3 billion of committed capital in the fund itself and approximately A0.2 billion of committed capital from two in-house co-investment schemes. Investment strategy follows that of its predecessor focusing on leveraged acquisitions and growth capital investments with a particular focus on the new economy.

Existing investors contributed 75 per cent of the fund. There also remains a reliance on the US investor base, which represents around 40 per cent of funds raised. In addition, unlike the previous fund, there has also been investor interest from the UK and continental Europe.

There have already been five deals from the new fund including the $2.35 billion acquisition of Veba Electronics from E.ON AG and three public-to-private transactions the GBP400 million acquisition of UK corporate travel and outsourcing employee services company, Hogg Robinson plc; the A290 million acquisition of the Austrian semiconductor manufacturer AMS; and the A528 million acquisition of Kiekert AG, the German manufacturer of electronic locking systems for automobiles.

Schroder Ventures has already invested around 88 per cent of its first fund, three years after its first closing. The company envisages a similar time scale for its current fund.