(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 (Reuters) - 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 specific agenda.”
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 available.”
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 GMT. ($1 = 0.5986 British Pounds) (Reporting By Freya Berry; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)