Truell plots public listing and €1.5bn fund close

The Duke Street Capital founder says he wants Disruptive Capital Finance to become a mini-Partners Group.

Edmund “Edi” Truell, the founder of a string of institutional investment businesses such as Duke Street Capital and the Pension Insurance Corporation, is to list his family office vehicle Disruptive Capital in a bid to transform it into a “larger private asset manager”.

The investment company will list on the SIX Swiss Exchange, potentially in early 2018 pending negotiations with potential investors. Disruptive Capital has around SFr350 million ($355 million; €300 million) in assets and this is expected to grow to SFr800 million after the listing, Truell told Private Equity International. Proceeds from the listing will be used to make investments, he said.

“We like to think of ourselves as a Partners Group with a nought off the end”
Edi Truell

“We like to think of ourselves as a Partners Group with a nought off the end,” Truell said. “We will be building up management capability, not just direct private equity which has been our heritage, but also infrastructure and other assets classes.”

Truell, often a critic of the industry he helped create, chose to list Disruptive Capital AG in Switzerland over London to be “relatively unusual” and to stand out from the crowd, as well for geopolitical reasons.

“While I’m a great believer in Brexit, I’m not a great believer in Jeremy Corbyn. There’s some degree of political risk in the UK at the moment that has slightly put me off,” Truell said, referring to the British opposition leader.

Listing Disruptive capital will allow investors to retain exposure to assets they don’t actually want to sell, Truell said.

“In quite a number of cases I’ve had people rollover their stake in their company and join me for the ride. That’s much easier to do within a listed context than it is within an unlisted private context.”

The proposed listing will not affect the firm’s plans to raise third-party capital, Truell said, adding that he hopes Disruptive IX, a primary vehicle, will hold a first and final close on €1.5 billion by Christmas, including €250 million of his own capital.

In April PEI reported that Truell intended to raise $1 billion for Disruptive IX and that the fund’s currency denomination was yet to be decided.

Disruptive Capital has already secured SFr300 million of co-investment capital for its next deal, according to a statement about the proposed listing.

The firm will initially focus on private equity and will make investments in other asset classes such as real assets.

Disruptive lists 10 portfolio companies on its website, ranging from the Australian almond farm Adveq Almond Trust; e-invoice company Tungsten Corporation, which listed on AIM in 2013; Imagine Publishing; vehicle software company Tantalum Corporation; and Atlantic Superconnection, which is developing a power-sharing project between the UK and Iceland.

It also holds PIC, the pensions buyout business Truell co-founded with his brother in 2006. CVC Capital Partners acquired a stake in PIC of between 10 percent and 20 percent in February in a deal valuing the business at around £2 billion ($2.6 billion; €2.2 billion).