LONDON May 25 Electra's departing
management team will pursue an investment strategy which focuses
on assets in Britain when it splits from the listed private
equity fund next month.
"We have a pipeline of interesting opportunities which pick
up where we left off," Alex Fortescue, Managing Partner of the
new management venture Epiris, told Reuters on Thursday.
Fortescue did not mention specific assets, but said that the
volatility created by Britain's decision to leave the European
Union, which has created uncertainty for businesses and called
into doubt UK-only strategies, could create opportunities.
Despite initial fears that Brexit would deter deal making,
merger and acquisition activity has avoided a collapse and with
cheap debt and an influx of foreign capital, private equity
firms have enjoyed higher exit multiples.
Fortescue declined to comment on fundraising by Epiris,
which sources have said has raised 500 million pounds ($649
million) for its own fund which was launched in early 2017 with
a target of between 800 million pounds and 1 billion pounds.
The splitting of the management team from Electra, which
owns the British arm of restaurant chain TGI Fridays, was
prompted by a long and bitter campaign by activist investor
Edward Bramson to join the listed company's board.
Electra, one of Britain's oldest private equity firms,
reported its net asset value had risen to 5,544 pence per share
at the end of March this year, from 5,149 pence, although at a
lower rate than the year before.
The fund also declared a second special dividend of 914
pence per share when it posted its six month results, during
which time it has sold a string of assets.
In recent weeks it has also sold investment property
portfolio Pine Unit Trust and Treetops Nurseries.
Epiris will hand over responsibility for managing Electra's
remaining assets, including Britain's TGI Fridays and Photobox,
to the fund next month.
($1 = 0.7701 pounds)
(Editing by Alexander Smith)