Weak euro hits Standard Life private equity

Michael Bow
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STANDARD Life’s European private equity trust yesterday reported a small dip in value as the weak euro exchange rate against sterling led to an unrealised loss of £8.7m on its portfolio value.

The FTSE listed fund of funds, which is quoted in sterling but invests in European assets, saw its diluted net asset value (NAV) fall by 1.3 per cent for the quarter ending June 2012, down to 229.3p from its value of 232.3p at the end of March 2012.

NAV is calculated by dividing the total value of all the securities in a portfolio, minus any liabilities, by the number of fund shares outstanding.

Its portfolio, made up of 37 private equity funds, saw unrealised losses of £10.3m over the period, with £8.7m of this – or 2.3 per cent of NAV – coming from foreign exchange losses driven by the three per cent depreciation of the euro against sterling since March.

However, the fund reported a boost in distributions between 30 June and 18 September, led by its €30m commitment to Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV.

This builds on existing commitments to Equistone’s other three funds.

This took distributions from £11.5m between March and June to £31.1m between the end of June and September.

The company mainly buys into European funds investing in mid-to-large sized buy-outs with enterprise values from €200m to €2bn.

“New transactional activity remained subdued in the European private equity market in the second quarter of 2012, due to the impact of the difficult macro-economic and political environment in Europe and constraints on debt availability for leveraged transactions,” the company announced in its statement.