European Strategic Partners Confirms $1 Billion Target

Standard Life and Hamilton Lane Advisors at press time were finalising the offer document for their joint venture fund-of-funds, European Strategic Partners. The partners have set a $1 billion (ecu 835 million) target for the vehicle, to include a GBP250 million (ecu 356 million) commitment from Standard Life. Plans for the vehicle were first revealed this spring when Standard Life and Hamilton Lane signed a partnership agreement. The two groups regard European Strategic Partners as the first of a series of joint offerings in the private equity arena.

The launch of the fund was slightly delayed while Standard Life completed an internal reorganisation programme that resulted in the formation of the Standard Life Investment Management subsidiary.

Hamilton Lane itself recently held a $121 million final closing on The Hamilton Lane Private Equity Fund, a fund-of funds raised outside the US for investment in US funds (story, page 12). European Strategic Partners, by contrast, will be raised internationally and will target mainly European private equity, although as much as 10% will be available for outstanding opportunities elsewhere.

A notable feature of European Strategic Partners is its atypically high allocation for direct investments, which will comprise 40% of its portfolio.

Most of its direct investments will be in buyouts backed by investee funds but the advisers will ensure a degree of diversication in the fund-of-fund’s direct component as well as in its portfolio of fund positions, which will encompass the entire private equity spectrum. Further details of the vehicle will be made public following its official launch in November. Commenting on the timing of the exercise, Jonny Maxwell of Standard Life said that European Strategic Partners would be in a position to benefit from the saner valuations that should prevail in the private companies market following the recent stock market pricing corrections.