Boutique asset manager Unigestion has held the first close of its private equity fund, Unigestion Direct Opportunities 2015 with commitments in excess of EUR100 million, is over half of the fund’s target size of EUR200 million.
In achieving its first close, UDO 2015 has attracted investor support from both existing and new investors, including UK investors North East Scotland Pension Fund and Clwyd Pension Fund. The fund is focused on investing in 12-15 privately-owned companies around the world, all of which are operating in the small and middle market, with enterprise values of under EUR1 billion.
The first two investments for UDO 2015 have already been completed. The first is in Zennor Petroleum, a UK-based oil and gas company that specialises in the appraisal and development of hydrocarbons in the North Sea, where there currently exists an opportunity to buy multiple high quality assets at very attractive prices. Since the initial investment, the value of the investment in Zennor has already been significantly boosted as a result of the company’s recent acquisition of First Oil & Gas Ltd, a subsidiary of First Oil Expro Ltd, a UK oil and gas producer that had entered into administration. Unigestion invested in Zennor alongside oil and gas sector specialist, Kerogen Capital, with whom Unigestion has had a relationship for many years. Partnering with leading sector specialists across the globe to buy high quality assets forms the core tenet of the fund’s strategy.
The second investment from the fund is in US-based BioreclamationIVT (BioIVT), a leading provider of biological products used in drug discovery research by life sciences and pharma companies. The company’s products and value added services enable its clients to significantly reduce the time and expense of bringing new drugs and diagnostics to market. As such, the company is highly regarded for the breadth of its product offering, the high quality of its biological products, rapid turnaround times and strong customer service. BioIVT has an attractive financial profile with a consumable-driven, repeatable revenue stream and high free cash flow generation. For this investment, Unigestion partnered with Arsenal Capital, a sector specialist with significant success in deriving returns from companies in the health care services space.
Unigestion has over 20 years’ experience in private equity investments through making primary, secondary and direct investments globally. Unigestion invests capital through segregated mandates, as well as commingled funds.
Paul Newsome (pictured), Head of Investment Management, Private Equity, at Unigestion, says: “Exceeding EUR100 million after the first close for UDO 2015 is a significant milestone and we are encouraged by the response from our existing investors and their continued confidence in our investment strategy, and by the significant pipeline of interest in the fund that we have from new investors.
“The small and middle market presents attractive opportunities if the right deals are found. Zennor is one such deal and has already shown how growth potential can be exploited in turbulent market conditions. Our second deal, BioIVT, is a good example of a company with attractive growth and cash flow characteristics, uncorrelated to economic conditions. As we grow the fund we will seek to unlock further opportunities for investors by focusing on companies which benefit from a long-term trend, executing the utmost due diligence and partnering with leading specialists around the globe.”