Standard Life final close

Scottish investment house, Standard Life Investments, has completed the final close of its private equity fund European Strategic Partners (ESP). Originally scheduled for August the closing was deferred until late October to accommodate additional investors. ESP is targeting European private equity funds and direct investments. The fund boasts over 40 investors from 12 different countries.

Standard Life has committed just under 50 per cent to the fund, while the remaining amount is split equally between the US, UK and continental Europe. There are also commitments from Argentina and Hong Kong.

One third of the capital raised has already been committed to 13 funds and six direct transactions. Further investments are under active consideration and the general focus will remain on the mid-market buyout and TMT sectors.

David Currie, managing director at Standard Life Investments, adds that no specific country allocation has been made as it would restrict the fund from selecting the best investments. In terms of investment size, the minimum amount committed to any fund will be around A10 million and the maximum will be A50 million. The fund is aiming to commit at least A10 million to each direct transaction with a maximum commitment of A25 million. However, exceptions will be made for earlier stage technology deals where the fund might co-invest an amount of A3 million to A4 million.

Capital commitment and capital deployment are both reported to be well ahead of the original fund plans. Currie remarked that there are a lot of attractive funds in the market at this present time and expects to complete its commitments to funds within the next year. Direct investment commitments will continue over the next three years.