Wind down of PE fund may take five years

THE WIND down of troubled private equity fund LMS Capital will take between three and five years, it said yesterday.

LMS is realising its funds after a peace deal was agreed at the end of last year following a public dispute between shareholders.

Yesterday the firm said it aims to make initial payments to shareholders by the end of 2012 with more by the end of next year.

It has the potential to release “significant” amounts of cash.

Chairman Richard Christou warned, however:  “The economic background remains very difficult, particularly for small private companies of the type which makes up much of the portfolio.”

Net asset value per share for the year to 31 December was flat at 90p. Revenue rose 24 per cent to £47.33m.

During the year Robert Rayne stepped down as chairman, although he remains on the board.

Closure of the fund was agreed in the autumn but a dispute over strategy followed between Rayne and a group of independent directors.

Rayne’s late father Lord Max Rayne bought a controlling stake in LMS’s predecessor London Merchant Securities in 1958.