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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a268594

SVG steams ahead

by Laurence Fletcher on Sep 08, 2005 at 14:05

SVG Capital has delivered a buoyant set of results, driven by strong cashflow and revaluation of a number of its holdings.

Over the six months to June the £800 million trust , which invests in Permira private equity funds, saw net asset value (NAV) rise 7.4% to 579.7p per share.

The rise in NAV was driven by distributions from the portfolio, which at £175.8 million are 2.5 times the level of last year, and valuation uplifts. Re-capitalisations, helped by large amounts of debt being available cheaply, had also contributed to distributions.

Cash balances rose to £190.8 million, which will be used to fund investments and to commit to the next Permira fund.

Chief executive Nick Ferguson told Citywire: 'Things are going very well and we've got solid cashflow. The second half feels like the first half. There's good two-way business with strong demand from financial buyers and trade buyers, and the market is also keen on IPOs (initial public offerings).'

SVG has benefited from the flotation of holdings such as Premiere and Inmarsat, and, while no floats are due in the immediate future, Ferguson said Italian semiconductor group EEMS could be floated 'at some stage'.

Portfolio holdings such as retailer New Look, communications group Intelsat and mobile phone service provider debitel saw uplifts in their valuation, although the value of car lock maker Kiekert was written down due to higher raw material costs and operating difficulties.

Meanwhile, the fund management business, which has launched the £70 million Strategic Equity Capital investment trust and two private equity fund of funds with Schroders, has seen third-party funds increase to €1.7 billion (£1.1 billion). The first close of the third fund of funds is expected by the end of the year, while further launches are planned.

SVG Capital stands on a 23% premium to NAV, compared with its average 12% premium over the past 12 months. Trusts in the Private Equity sector are on an average current 15% premium, their highest over the past year.

SVG shares are down 5p at 704p.

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