F&C Private Equity Trust reports strong first half Print
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F&C Private Equity Trust has announced a period of strong cash inflows and significant gains in valuation in its interim results to 30 June 2012.

The Ordinary Share net asset value (NAV) increased by 4.2% during the period. The NAV total return was 4.5%, taking into account the final dividend of 0.8p per Ordinary Share paid on 8 June 2012. The Restricted Voting Share NAV total return was 0.5%.

The board announced proposals to cancel the Restricted Voting Shares as during the period the largest holding of £2.3 million was realised. It is intended to return this to shareholders through a special dividend of 3.3p per Restricted Voting Share.

The company's plans for a new dividend policy were approved by ordinary shareholders at the AGM in May 2012. In accordance with this policy, the company will pay an interim dividend of 4.96p per ordinary share on 2 November 2012, equivalent to an annualised dividend yield of 6.4%.

Mark Tennant, chairman of F&C Private Equity Trust, said: "The new dividend policy is designed to provide ordinary shareholders with greater and predictable dividend payments which will be funded from a combination of the company's revenue reserve and realised capital profits."

Realisations during the period exceeded £27 million, more than 40% ahead of the same period in 2011 and comfortably ahead of the total drawdowns for the period of £13 million. The principal exit was the sale of the August Equity Partners led investment Lifeways.

Two new commitments were made to private equity funds during the period and since the end of the period another three commitments have been made. New commitments include €4 million to Nordic specialist Procuritas Fund V, €5 million to German fund DBAG VI, $5 million to New York based Healthpoint Capital Partners III, £4 million to Lyceum Capital Fund III and a fresh commitment of £6 million to the Inflexion 2012 Co-Investment Fund.

Commenting on performance and the outlook for the year ahead, fund manager Hamish Mair, said: "The company's progress is a direct result of the specific value-creative actions undertaken by our private equity managers. Whilst the volume of private equity deals across Europe has decreased there is little evidence of this within the portfolio where realisations and new investments have been at healthy levels.

"The current environment provides a substantial buying opportunity. The principal advantage will be that the reduction in equity capital available, coupled with ongoing shortage of debt, will mean that private equity deals will be done at attractive prices. We see considerable evidence of this in the new deals entering the portfolio."