The Trust aims to provide shareholders with long-term capital growth through investment in unquoted companies both directly and through private equity funds.

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Key points

  • Provides access to a diverse portfolio of mature companies, mainly in established European private equity markets, with over 350 underlying companies.
  • The manager is Graphite Capital which has over £1.5 billion of funds under management and has been investing for 32 years. The senior management team has worked together for over 16 years.
Fund facts
Investment manager Graphite Capital Management LLP
Benchmark FTSE All-Share Index
Sector Private Equity
Launch date 1981
Total assets Graphite £502.7 million (as at 31.01.14)
Currency Sterling
ISIN GB0003292009
SEDOL 0329200
Key dates
Annual general meeting June
Year end 31 January
Dividend payment date(s) June
Ex-dividend date(s) June

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

The value of shares and the income from them is not guaranteed and can fall as well as rise due to stock market movements. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. When you sell your shares, you might get back less than you originally invested. If markets fall, gearing can magnify the negative impact on performance. Changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of investments. Emerging Markets, Unquoted Companies and Smaller companies carry a higher degree of risk and their value can be more sensitive to market movement; their shares may be less liquid and performance may be more volatile. The fund may invest in hedge funds or private equity funds which are not normally available to individual investors, exposing the fund to the performance, liquidity and valuation issues of these funds. Such funds typically have high minimum investment levels and may restrict or suspend redemptions or repayment to investors. The asset value of these shares and its prospects may be more difficult to assess.

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