Ashburton Private Equity Fund I raises R500m

By Janice Roberts

Enhancing returns on cash using money market funds

The Ashburton Private Equity Fund 1 recently had its final close and has raised R500 million.

It offers diversiefied private equity exposures across industry sectors, fund vintage years, manager selection and geography at a low entry point which would otherwise not be accessible to investors.

The fund focuses on cash-generative leveraged buy-outs and will co-invest in direct private equity investments alongside leading private equity firms. The fund will also acquire commitments in existing funds (through secondary interests) and could make commitments to new private equity funds in South Africa and Africa.

Said Juan Coetzer, Private Equity Fund Manager at Ashburton Investments: “We are optimistic about the asset class and believe that the next few years will present opportunities in private equity even though SA is facing a challenging environment.”

Coetzer noted that the fund does not invest on a macro view but rather focuses on individual businesses or fund managers with exposure to businesses that have potential and opportunity.

The fund has already deployed over 20% of its committed capital and is looking at a few direct co-investment opportunities that are already in the pipeline for this year.

“It is in times like these when the rationale of allocating a portion of investment portfolios to alternative asset classes like private equity, which has historically had a low correlation to listed equities and bonds, proves appropriate.

“Adding some private equity exposure to a portfolio enhances its risk-return profile. However it is of utmost importance in these times to be focused, disciplined and patient enough to wait for the right opportunities,” Coetzer concluded.

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