SLCP eyes the European mid-market

Fund of funds manager SL Capital Partners has launched a mid-market product, mirroring a similar initiative in North America.

SL Capital Partners, the semi-captive private equity arm of Standard Life, has begun marketing its first smaller funds product to focus on Europe, according to market sources. 

The European Smaller Funds Fund I has a target size of €300 million and will commit to funds no larger than €1 billion in size, sources said. The fund will target managers who invest in companies with enterprise values of between €25 million and €250 million.

This represents a first for the fund of funds manager, which to date has raised funds with a broad mandate to invest in funds of all sizes. In Europe, SLCP has in the past committed to funds run by the likes of Permira, CVC Capital Partners and Apax Partners, as well as a number of smaller funds.

SLCP declined to comment.

As with the €700 million fund SLCP closed late last year – which includes larger funds in its remit – the smaller funds product has allocated up to 30 percent of its total capital to secondaries opportunities. The fund will avoid commitments to funds investing in the so-called PIIGs (Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain).

The new product, which was launched to investors in November 2010, mirrors a similar product focusing on North America (and committing to funds of up to $1 billion), which is also understood to be in marketing mode.

In an in-depth interview in July 2010, David Currie, SLCP’s chief executive, told PEI that the firm will continue raising its broader generalist funds alongside any new products launched.

At the time, Currie said the firm was also exploring opportunities to break into other asset classes. Potential new business lines under review included infrastructure, mezzanine and private equity real estate: “all things our investors have expressed an interest in,” said Currie at the time.