(Corrects attribution of quotes, paragraphs 3 and 7)
* NAV rises 5 pct to 2,914 pence
* Group makes record 250 million pounds of investments
* 'Not aware' of an activist approach from investor Bramson
LONDON, May 29 UK private equity firm Electra
said on Thursday that activist investor Edward Bramson
had yet to put forward any specific plans for the company after
dramatically increasing his stake.
Bramson's Sherborne Investors became Electra's largest
shareholder in March, months after realizing hefty profits on
the sale of a stake in rival 3i.
"We have had one meeting with Sherborne," Electra's Chairman
Roger Yates said. "After that, we have come out not aware of any
Bramson, known for his combative investing style, now holds
a 19.08 percent stake through Sherborne. Analysts have said he
is unlikely to pursue an activist approach towards Electra.
Electra's diluted net asset value per share rose 5 percent
to 2,914 pence ($48.68) in the half-year to end of March 2014.
The group said that it had spent 250 million pounds on new
assets such as Hotter Shoes over the period and had a portfolio
return of 9 percent, or 89 million pounds.
"It's clear that the competition in private equity is
hotting up and prices are being driven up by that and by buoyant
stock markets," said Chief Investment Partner Alex Fortescue.
"Banks are coming back into private equity and lending is more
Yates said that, in a deals market where prices were
averaging 11 times core earnings (EBITDA), Electra's investments
over the period had averaged around 8 times.
It has 294 million pounds to spend on new deals, although
116 million pounds of that will be absorbed into completion of
current deals such as its 40 million-euro buyout of plastic bank
note firm Innovia.
Shares in Electra rose 0.7 percent to 2,769 pence at 0726
($1 = 0.5986 British Pounds)
(Reporting By Freya Berry; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)