Standard Life adds €1.23bn to asset base

The private equity arm of Edinburgh-based insurer Standard Life has closed its third fund of funds vehicle on €850m and secured an additional €375m in three separate accounts.

Standard Life Investments (Private Equity), the Edinburgh-headquartered private equity fund investor, has raised €1.225 billion (€1.43 billion) for European Strategic Partners 2004 (ESP 2004) and three related separate accounts.

We believe €850 million is the optimal size for ESP 2004 and will allow broad diversification and deployment across vintage years to which it will be exposed.

Jonny Maxwell, chief executive, Standard Life Investments (Private Equity)

According to a press release, ESP 2004 was significantly oversubscribed and capped at €850 million. An additional €375 million was taken on from three clients who invested through separate mandates.

“We believe €850 million is the optimal size for ESP 2004 and will allow broad diversification and deployment across vintage years to which it will be exposed,” Jonny Maxwell, chief executive of Standard Life Investments (Private Equity), said in the statement.

ESP 2004 will invest in European buyout funds.

Unusually for a press release announcing the close of a private equity vehicle, Standard Life included a message to potential clients who failed to secure space in ESP 2004. “Disappointed investors who were unable to obtain an allocation to ESP 2004 are being invited to roll their commitment into ESP 2004’s successor fund, ESP 2006, the marketing for which will begin in January 2006.”

Maxwell: 30 percent co-investment on offer

Limited partners in ESP 2004 can choose to either have exposure to underlying fund investments only, or participate in a portfolio consisting of at least 70 percent funds and 30 percent direct co-investment.

The closing takes Standard Life Investments (Private Equity)’s asset under management to €3.8 billion. The group has been investing in the asset class since 2000, when it close its first fund of funds on €868 million.