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F&C Private Equity Trust plc

Overview

F&C Private Equity Trust plc is a fund of funds, investing in private equity through making primary commitments, secondary commitments and direct investments. Investments are well-diversified by industry, size of company, geography, stage of development, transaction type and management style.

F&C Private Equity Trust's objective is to achieve long-term capital growth through investment in specialist private equity funds, on a primary and secondary basis, as well as selective co-investments in private companies. The Trust can invest globally across the private equity spectrum but has a bias towards the European mid-market buyout niche.

F&C Private Equity Trust pays an annual dividend equivalent to not less than 4% of Net Asset Value. The dividend is paid in quarterly payments* in January, April, July and October, funded from a combination of the Trust's revenue and realised capital profits.

*Prior to January 2018, the Trust paid semi-annual dividends.

  • Fund-of-funds, London-listed
  • Investment focus: global with European bias
  • Deal focus: LBO/MEZZ/VC
  • Dividend: yes

Key financials

Manager Overview

The Board has appointed F&C Investment Business Limited (‘the Manager’), a wholly owned subsidiary of F&C Asset Management plc (‘F&C’), as the Company’s investment manager. F&C is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal (‘BMO’) and is part of BMO Global Asset Management.

The BMO Global Asset Management (EMEA) private equity business, known as BMO PE, manages F&C Private Equity Trust through the Manager. BMO PE has been investing continuously in European private equity for more than 20 years and is a highly experienced specialist private equity business with a team that has a proven ability to identify and access strong performing prime/emerging managers across a range of strategies. Over the years BMO PE has developed a wide network of contacts in the private equity sector. Members of the team hold a number of seats on advisory boards or committees of funds and direct investments. Together they have a broad experience covering direct private equity, smaller companies, international equities and management of performance driven investment vehicles.

As at 31 March 2018, the net assets of the Company were £258.2 million, giving a Net Asset Value (NAV) per share of 349.24p.

Hamish Mair, Investment Manager

Market commentary

The private equity market internationally continues to expand both in absolute terms and as a proportion of investable assets. Current levels of fund raising and accumulated capacity to invest, often termed 'dry powder', are at or near record levels. The price of new deals across all markets is approaching all-time highs. This is something to be monitored closely and it is possible that there could be some slowdown in new deal activity from recent very active levels. The private equity sector is innately long term in its investment outlook and for mature investors there should be no pressure to invest if prices and prospective returns do not fully justify it. Our investment partners are chosen for their ability to identify and create value across a broad swathe of sectors and geographies. The lower mid-market, particularly, continues to present diligent investors with a myriad of opportunities. We have a broadly diversified portfolio which is the result of each of these investment partners taking a few of these opportunities over a period of years. Our portfolio remains well placed to grow value for shareholders over the long term.

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