Mithras holds £120 million first close

Newly-formed fund-of-funds manager Mithras Capital has held a £120 million first close on its debut vehicle, which will invest in about ten European and US private equity funds.

Mithras Capital, a newly-formed UK private equity fund-of-funds manager, has held a first close at £120 million (€176 million, $239 million) on its debut vehicle, following commitments from Mithras Investment Trust and Legal & General.

Mithras is aiming to hold a final close for the fund in the next six months, with a hard cap of £250 million. It will look to invest in no more than ten private equity funds, of which two will probably be US-based and the rest European, and plans to back both established and emerging managers.

Mithras Capital is the fund-of-funds manager formed by the merger of Mithras Investment Trust, a listed trust managed by Legal & General Ventures, and Tandem Private Equity, a start-up fund-of-funds manager set up by industry veteran Gillian Brown. Brown, who previously worked at Hermes Private Equity and Merrill Lynch’s fund investment business, was appointed managing partner of the combined business.

Brown said: “Our aim is to concentrate our efforts on a small group of select funds which are difficult to access and likely to produce good returns. This will become clear when we finalise and release the details of our investments in a US special situation fund and a pan-European lower mid-market fund.”

The merger with Tandem was the latest step in the turnaround of Mithras Investment Trust, which has more than doubled its share price in the last four years, and seen net asset value rise by 82 percent. It attributed this success to a move away from mezzanine investment and to a number of successful investments in LGV’s buyout funds.

The trust, along with parent Legal & General, has committed all the £120 million raised by Mithras Capital ahead of its first close.