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Standard Life reaching for the top

Standard Life has added some EURO200 million to its European Strategic Partners Fund in a third phase of fund raising, taking total commitments to the vehicle to EURO720 million. Launched with an original target of as much as EURO1 billion, the fund will remain open into October to accommodate a number of institutions that are finalising their investment processes plus some late interest’ from new prospects. Slated to top the EURO750 million mark at its final close, European Strategic Partners has so far signed up 27 investing institutions from the UK, US, Scandinavia, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Middle East, Hong Kong and South America.

European Strategic Partners combines fund-of-fund and direct investment strategies. Focusing primarily on the mid-market buyout and technology media and telecoms arena, as much as 40 per cent of its capital may be deployed in direct investments.

Jonny Maxwell, chief executive of Standard Life Investment (Private Equity), says that the fund is being deployed much faster than the managers had anticipated, with 36 per cent of commitments to date already allocated in 12 fund and five direct investments. The funds in its portfolio that have held final closings are the latest offerings from Alchemy Partners, Apax France, BC Partners, Duke Street Capital, Index Ventures and Industri Kapital. Direct investments include Clondalkin, Piaggio, Quadstone and Steiner Industries.