Standard Life Private Equity (SLPE) has announced results for the year ended 30 September 2020. Over the period the trust produced an NAV total return of 11.7%. This compares to a return of -16.6% from the All-Share Index. The total shareholder return was -4.6%. [Here is the killer stat:] The company has delivered returns in excess of the wider market in all years since inception.
Quarterly dividends of 3.3p totalled 13.2p for the year, 3.1% up on the previous year.
In response to the pandemic, the board and manager adopted a deliberately cautious approach. Over the company’s financial year, SLPE made commitments totalling £140.0m (2019: £188.0m) into six new primary investments, two secondary investments and two co-investments. Outstanding commitments at the year end amounted to £471.4m (2019: £450.3m). The trust has an untapped £200m multi-credit facility that matures in December 2024 plus, at the end of September, cash and cash equivalents of £33.1m, not including a further £15.3m of deferred consideration from investments sold in 2019, which was received after the year end.
SLPE received £140.7m of distributions in the year (2019: £107.4m), realising 3.5 times cost on average for investments sold from its core portfolio. The biggest contributor to realised gains was 3i Eurofund V, as a result of the realisation of its underlying company Action. Excluding 3i Eurofund V, the realised return was 2.3 times (2019: 2.2 times cost).
The company retained some exposure to Action – the largest new investment was a £22.6m co-investment / re-investment into that company. Other notable new investments in the year included:
Visma (Hg Saturn 2 / co-investment) – a European provider of mission-critical software to SMEs;
ERT (Nordic Capital IX) – an international provider of data collection solutions for use in clinical drug development;
All4labels (Triton V) – a European manufacturer of labels for the consumer industry;
Recordati (CVC VII) – an international specialty pharmaceutical group;
Froneri (PAI SPs) – an international ice cream manufacturer; and
Litera (HgCapital 8) – a global provider of software to the legal and life sciences industries.
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