Standard Life breaks E1bn barrier

Standard Life has reached a final close of €1.09bn on its latest fund European Strategic Partners II (ESP II), which is 26% larger than its predecessor fund European Strategic Partners.

Commitments were received from North American, European, Middle Eastern, Asian and UK clients. A total of €850m is being allocated to investments in private equity funds and €240m is available for co-investments. Over €200m has already been committed to private equity funds on behalf of ESP II, including the Barclays Private Equity European Fund, Charterhouse Capital Partners VII, Graphite Capital VI, the Italian Private Equity Fund IV, CapVis II, Altor 2003 and Permira Europe III.

On the co-investment side, ESP II has invested a total of €40m. So far ESP II has invested: €10m in ONV Topco, a co-investment with Candover; €15m in Danske Traelast, a co-investment with CVC; and most recently last month the group invested €15m in Debenhams, also a co-investment with CVC.

Jonny Maxwell, chief executive of Standard Life Investments, said: “We have successfully closed our fund and exceeded our target. This has been achieved during an extremely difficult environment when a number of our competitors have closed down or been acquired having failed or struggled badly in their fund raising. Our deep and experienced team, a strong track record and a focused investment approach are being increasingly valued by our growing number of clients.”