Scottish Equity Partners closes fund at £100m

The size of the fund will allow the private equity firm to "follow companies all the way through from initial investment," according to its managing director.

Scottish Equity Partners has closed its SEP II fund at £100m (E160m).

Investors in the fund include Royal Bank of Scotland group, the European Investment Fund, Standard Life Investments, Lloyds Development Capital, Bank of Scotland and Westport Private Equity through the UK High Technology Fund. SEP II reached its original target of £75m three months after it had been set up in September last year and the cap was then increased to £100m.

Calum Paterson, managing director of Scottish Equity Partners said that fundraising had gone well at a time of considerable volatility in the technology sector. “At £100m, the fund is of a scale which means that we will be able to follow companies all the way through from initial investment. In addition, some of the major institutional investors in the fund can be introduced as direct co-investors and hence the range of the funding opportunities which we can now look at is greatly increased,” he added.

The fund's focus will be on early stage and emerging growth companies in sectors such as software, microelectronics, communication technologies, healthcare and life sciences in Scotland, the UK and Ireland. The company is increasing the size of investments to between £250,000 and £5m from an upper limit of £1.5m in its last fund, SEP I.

The first investment from SEP II was completed two weeks ago. An investment was made in Provis, a Lancashire-based healthcare company. Patterson said that current enquiry levels were “buoyant” and that the company expects to complete several investments immininently.

The new fund is expected to provide Scottish Equity Partners with its investment capital for the next four years or so. The company has also appointed two new executives to join its investment team later this month and created an investment advisory group.