Epiris nets £821m for debut solo fund

Electra Partners rebranded as Epiris in December 2016 after being served notice from the listed investment trust whose portfolio it had managed for 30 years.

Epiris has held a final close on £821 million ($1.1 billion; €923 million) for its first private equity fund as an independent manager.

The fund attracted 34 percent of its capital from public and private pension funds, and another 30 percent from endowments and foundations, according to a statement. Asset managers and private investors made up the difference. Placement agent Campbell Lutyens advised on the fundraise.

Just under half of the commitments for Epiris Fund II came from North America, with 32 percent originating in the UK, 18 percent in Europe and 4 percent from the rest of the world. US limited partners have played a larger role in UK fundraising since the Brexit vote, with European investors potentially hesitant over the region.

News of a final close on at least £800 million was first reported by Private Equity International in June.

Fund II has already made four investments, including the recent acquisition of global auction house Bonhams. Epiris targets UK-headquartered businesses with an enterprise value of between £75 million and £500 million, deploying between £40 million and £150 million of equity in each investment.

In December 2016, the firm known as Electra Partners said it would adopt the name Epiris “as it seeks to reflect its future and its independence from Electra Private Equity PLC”, the listed investment trust whose portfolio it managed for 30 years.

That relationship was effectively brought to an end in October 2016 when the listed fund served notice on its long-standing fund manager, a move engineered by activist investor Edward Bramson.

– Rod James contributed to this report.