Swiss asset manager Unigestion has held the first close of its private equity fund, Unigestion Direct Opportunities 2015 (UDO 2015).
Some €100m inflows have been drawn to the fund forming over half of its target size (€200m).
The Unigestion Direct Opportunities 2015 focuses on investing in 12-15 privately-owned companies operating in small and middle markets, with valuations of under €1bn.
The first two investments for UDO 2015 have already been completed, Unigestion said.
The fund has invested in Zennor Petroleum, a UK based oil and gas company, specialised in the appraisal and development of hydrocarbons in the North Sea, where there currently exists an opportunity to buy multiple high quality assets at very attractive prices.
The second investment from the fund has been in a US based BioreclamationIVT (“BioIVT”), a provider of biological products used in drug discovery research by life sciences and pharma companies.
Paul Newsome, head of Investment Management, Private Equity, at Unigestion commented: “Exceeding €100 million after the first close for UDO 2015 is a significant milestone and we are encouraged by the response from our existing investors and their continued confidence in our investment strategy, and by the significant pipeline of interest in the fund that we have from new investors.
“The small and middle market presents attractive opportunities if the right deals are found. Zennor is one such deal and has already shown how growth potential can be exploited in turbulent market conditions.
“Our second deal, BioIVT, is a good example of a company with attractive growth and cash flow characteristics, uncorrelated to economic conditions.
“As we grow the fund we will seek to unlock further opportunities for investors by focusing on companies which benefit from a long-term trend, executing the utmost due diligence and partnering with leading specialists around the globe.”
'Excellent growth opportunity'