JZCP posts 43% annual return

The London-listed firm has narrowed its NAV discount by 42% in the 12 months to end February amid signs of recovery for the listed private equity sector.

JZ Capital Partners, the London-listed small-cap investor, has posted a record 43 percent total shareholder return in the financial year that ended on 28 February 2013. 

This was supported by strong realisations over the period, with $145.9 million in proceeds received from 19 exited assets. That did not prevent the firm from maintaining a strong pace of investments, which totalled $200.7 million across investments in 25 European and US companies. 

“The micro-cap sector has again provided the company with strong performance on which to generate superior returns for our shareholders,” David Zalaznick, JZCP’s founder and investment advisor, commented in a statement. 

Positive results helped the firm’s discount on NAV narrow from 38 percent to 22 percent, and pushed its share price to record highs during the period. This was not an exception to recent trends, as JZCP posted positive NAV growth for 15 of the last 16 quarters. 

The last 12 months also saw the firm make a number of strategic moves, including a simplification of its capital structure, which JZCP says will allow a greater number of US investors to acquire its shares, as well as a new dividend policy that provides a greater stability in distributions, at a rate of 3 percent of NAV per year. In a bid to further internationalise its portfolio, the firm also increased its NAV to be invested outside the US from 20 percent to 30 percent. 

This rosy picture for JZCP comes amid signs of recovery for listed private equity firms, which saw share prices plummet in the wake of the financial crisis. Data released by Numis Securities show that London listed funds have posted a 34.9 percent absolute return over the last 12 months, whilst the European index recorded a 51.5 percent return over the same period (both figures are in British pounds). 

Discounts to NAV have also narrowed for a majority of listed firms since last year, with most of them currently posting a figure lower than the average observed over the past 12 months.