Standard Life FoF reaches first close

Standard Life Investment has reached a first close of €250m on European Strategic Partners 2004 (ESP 2004), a private equity fund-of-funds vehicle.
The fund, which was officially launched at the same time as the first closing was announced, will invest in a mix of European, predominately western, private equity funds and direct investments. It will focus on funds which target buyouts valued between €50m and €400m.
Investors in ESP 2004 will have the choice of participating in either a partnership exclusively made up of private equity funds and/or one consisting of at least 70% in private equity funds and 30% in direct co-investment opportunities.
The fund has strong support from local authorities in the UK and major corporate pension schemes in the UK and the US. ESP 2004 is aiming for a final close in September 2005 and has a target of €300m.
ESP 2004 will be managed by Standard Life Investments (Private Equity) Limited (SLIPE). The launch and first close follows on from European Strategic Partners II which reached a final close in January 2004 on €1.09bn. ESP 2004 is the company’s second fund-of-funds vehicle, the first, called European Strategic Partners, closed in October 2000 on €868m.