Fund manager commentary
In March, the Company released its unaudited results for the year to 31 January 2014. The Company has made solid progress, with the net asset value per share increasing by 7.2%, despite the adverse effect of currency movements. This continued the recent strong performance with the net asset value increasing by nearly 30% over three years and by well over 50% over five years (total return).
The share price performed strongly during the year, rising by 15.7% to 563.5p and materially outperforming the Company’s benchmark, the FTSE All-Share Index, which rose by 6.4%. The discount to the net asset value per share narrowed from 22.9% to 16.8% during the year. The share price has continued to strengthen since the year end.
The Company’s performance against the listed private equity sector continues to be strong. Over each of three, five and ten years, both our share price and net asset value total return have substantially outperformed the peer group average1.
It was a very active year, with new investment of £90.6 million and record realisations of £118.3 million. The largest new investment was the acquisition of City & County Healthcare by Graphite Capital, in which the Company invested £14.2 million. The most significant realisation was Graphite Capital’s sale of Alexander Mann Solutions, the leading global provider of recruitment process outsourcing services, which generated £14.4 million of cash and a return of 3.6 times cost.
The Company made substantial commitments to new funds of £201 million, which will generate a core level of new investment in the medium term. The balance sheet remains strong, with total liquidity of £165.9 million as at 31 January.
1Peer group comprises: Aberdeen Private Equity, F&C Private Equity, HarbourVest, JPMorgan Private Equity, Pantheon International Participations, Princess Private Equity, Private Equity Holding, Standard Life European Private Equity (funds-of-funds); 3i, Candover, Dunedin Enterprise, Electra, HgCapital, NB Private Equity Partners, SVG Capital (direct funds).
As at 31 January 2014 unless otherwise specified
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