The Standard Life Private Equity Trust (“SLPET” or” the Company”) provides investors with access to a diversified portfolio of leading private companies. The Company currently offers a progressive dividend just under 4% (it increases each year), rewarding shareholders for their patience as the portfolio value grows.
The investment objective is to achieve long-term total returns through holding a diversified portfolio of private equity funds and direct investments into private companies alongside private equity managers (“co-investments”), a majority of which will have a European focus.
SLPET invests in private equity funds run by leading private equity managers who have the expertise to source, grow and sell private companies, delivering attractive investment returns. The funds invest in mature businesses primarily through management buy-out transactions. The portfolio will comprise around 50 active private equity funds, managed by a select group of fund managers. In addition, the Company complements its fund portfolio by investing up to 20% of NAV in co-investments. SLPET has a target of building an underlying portfolio of around 400 private companies.
How SLPET invests in private equity
The Company can invest in three ways:
i. The manager of a successful private equity fund will seek to raise fresh capital to invest typically every five years and the Company may commit to investing in such a fund. The fund will typically aim to acquire majority equity stakes in private companies commensurate with the fund’s strategy – this is known as primary investment;
ii. Once a private equity fund has raised the fresh capital it seeks, no additional investors/commitments are permitted to increase the fund size. If an existing investor in that fund wishes to sell its position, the Company can negotiate to acquire that interest - this is known as a secondary transaction; and
iii. In situations where the manager of a private equity fund seeks additional equity capital in order to make or supplement the acquisition of a portfolio company, certain investors in that fund may be offered the opportunity to invest directly into that private company alongside the fund and manager – this is known as a co-investment
Over time, the combination of these strategies is intended to deliver value to the Company’s shareholders. Irrespective of the type of investment, after a number of years the underlying private companies will generally be sold to industrial buyers, other private equity funds or exit through an IPO on listed markets. The cash proceeds from the sale of the private companies are returned to the Company and the investment cycle starts again.
About Aberdeen Standard Investments
The Trust's manager, SL Capital Partners, is Aberdeen Standard Investments dedicated private equity arm. We have fulfilled this role since the launch of the Trust in 2001 and have deployed a consistent strategy that gives shareholders access to a diversified portfolio of private company investments that generate attractive investment returns. Our team has decades of experience of investing in leading global private equity managers and can be relied upon to select the some of the best opportunities, supported by the broad resources of Aberdeen Standard Investments..