Europe-focused BMO Private Equity optimistic on 2019


Europe-focused BMO Private Equity optimistic on 2019 – BMO Private Equity (BPET) saw its NAV grow by 12.4% on a total return basis in the year to December 31, 2018. During the year the company made new investments either through funds or as co-investments, totalling £71.8m. Realisations and associated income totalled £82.7m.

Over 2018, BPET re-branded from F&C Private Equity (FPEO). We note that the investment policy and process remains the same, and Hamish Mair remains the fund manager. BPET’s portfolio of private equity investments concentrate around the UK and developed Europe, which together account for close to 80% of its exposure.

Financial Highlights

  • NAV of 386.29p and NAV total return for the year of 12.4% for the ordinary shares
  • Share price total return for the year of -2.6% for the ordinary shares
  • Total dividends of 14.37p per ordinary share which represents growth of 2.4% in comparison to the previous year
  • Dividend yield of 4.5% based on the year-end share price

BPET has access to capital to fund commitments

BPET’s undrawn commitments at the year-end were £130.9m of which £16.0m was to funds where the investment period has expired. The commitments represent 50% of the fund’s market cap at the time of writing. However, at 31 December 2018, BPET had a net debt position of £5.5m leaving the bulk of its £70m loan facility from RBS available should this be required.

Discussing the trust’s outlook, chairman, Market Tennant, notes: “The company has delivered a strong outcome for the year. The performance is broadly based and the benefits of having a well-diversified international portfolio are well demonstrated by the heterogeneity of the portfolio. Many of the companies are operating in specific niches and these can often show growth, which is more closely linked to the adoption of a product or service than to the background economy or dynamics of a particular industrial sector. The portfolio is well placed to deliver further growth in 2019.”

BPET/FPEO: Europe-focused BMO Private Equity optimistic on 2019

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