Scottish Equity Partners has closed a new growth equity and venture fund with 200 million pounds ($310 million). SEP IV will focus on investments in high-growth technology and technology-related companies based in the U.K. The firm said that limited partners include pension funds, fund-of-fund investors, family offices and corporate investors, though it did not name any LPs.
Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) today announced the successful close of its new growth equity and venture capital fund, SEP IV, confirming that it had reached its £200 million target by the end of 2011.
The fund, which ranks as one of the largest raised in Europe over the last year, attracted very strong support, defying the generally difficult climate for private equity fundraisings. SEP’s existing investors accounted for 80% of the total raised. Approximately half of the fund was accounted for by UK-based investors, with the remaining 50% coming from investors based in Europe and the United States.
Investors in SEP IV include pension funds, which account for almost 60% of the total raised, fund-of-fund investors, family offices and corporates. The fund is 30% bigger than SEP’s previous fund. SEP will use the capital it has raised to provide growth equity and venture funding to high growth UK technology and technology-related companies.
SEP Managing Partner Calum Paterson said: “We are grateful for the continued support of our long-standing existing investors and to have secured high quality new limited partners, particularly in the current economic climate. The fundraising reflects well on the hard work and commitment of our team. It is also testament to the collective endeavors and successes of the companies we have backed.”
Paterson added: “There is a growing recognition of the positive role that experienced and long term equity investors can play in building successful businesses, especially at a time when for many companies bank funding continues to be conspicuous by its absence. This new fund will allow us to continue to support the growth of innovative and ambitious UK companies. We have already identified a number of interesting investment opportunities for 2012, but we will maintain a disciplined approach and ensure that we continue to select and value our investments carefully.”
The conclusion of fundraising for SEP IV underpinned a successful year for SEP in 2011. As well as making a number of new investments, it achieved several very significant exits from its portfolio. These included the sale of pioneering cancer therapeutic company Biovex to US pharmaceutical giant Amgen in a $1 billion deal, and a return of 12 times its investment in Zeus Technology which was acquired by Riverbed Technology in a $140m deal.
SEP’s current portfolio companies, which are predominantly based in the UK, employ more than 2,000 people in aggregate and include some of the UK’s fastest-growing technology businesses.
The investment range for SEP IV is between £5 million and £20 million for growth capital and between £2 million and £10 million for venture capital opportunities and the geographic focus is the UK.
Notes to Editors:
About Scottish Equity Partners
Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is a leading independent, owner-managed growth equity and venture capital firm with a 20 year track record of successful investing. Operating from offices in London and Glasgow it invests in innovative, high growth potential companies in the IT, healthcare and energy sectors. With significant funds available and an integrated investment team, SEP has the resource and experience to add value from investment through to exit and has been selected as the partner of choice by many of the UK’s leading technology companies.
Recent portfolio exits include the sale of web traffic management company Zeus Technology to Riverbed Technology Inc (NASDAQ: RVBD) for a total price of up to $140m, recently named Best Venture Investment of the Year. SEP also sold multimedia home networking company Gigle Networks to Broadcom Corp (NASDAQ: BRCM). SEP also exited from cancer therapy company BioVex which was acquired by Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN, SEHK: 4332) in a deal worth $1bn which earned SEP the Venture Deal of the Year award in the Unquote British Private Equity Awards 2011.
SEP’s current portfolio comprises high growth companies Media Ingenuity (http://www.mediaingenuity.com) a specialist in online marketing services and technology for the financial services sector; managed IT services provider Control Circle (http://www.controlcircle.com); flight search engine Skyscanner (http://www.skyscanner.net); wireless communications leader ipaccess (http://www.ipaccess.com); IT analytics company Sumerian (http://www.sumerian.com/); Cmed (http://www.cmedgroup.com) which combines full clinical research services with advanced clinical data capture and management technology; and healthcare informatics company Aridhia (http://www.aridhia.com).