* EBITDA profit up 6.4 pct at 300 mln Swiss francs
* Raises dividend to 7.25 francs a share
* Assets under management up 10.5 pct at 31.6 bln euros
(Adds bullets, detail)
By Freya Berry and Joshua Franklin
LONDON, March 25 Swiss private equity firm
Partners Group reported a 6.4 percent rise in profits
on Tuesday and increased its dividend by 16 percent to 7.25
Swiss francs a share on the back of a 10.5 percent rise in
assets under management.
The investment manager has historically favoured mid-market
companies, which it says offer more development opportunities
than larger deals and are less reliant on broader economic
growth. The mid-market is generally accepted as companies worth
$50 million to $1 billion.
Partners' assets under management increased last year by 3
billion euros to stand at 31.6 billion euros ($43.6 billion) at
the end of the year. Some 1.3 billion euros of the increase came
from new investments, the company said, while total new money
before outflows last year amounted to 5.1 billion euros.
In 2014 the company expects to see client inflows of between
4.5 billion and 6.5 billion euros.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) rose last year to 300 million Swiss francs ($339
million) from 282 million in 2012, on revenue up 8.1 percent at
492 million francs, 92 percent of which came from basic
management fees and the remaining 8 percent from performance
However, the company cautioned that finding new investment
targets at the right price had got more difficult last year,
with surging equity markets driving up company valuations.
"The number one issue in the market is pricing," said
Co-Chief Executive Andre Frei.
Private equity firms are also competing with corporates
seeking acquisitions as the M&A market bounces back. Vodafone
this month agreed to pay 7.2 billion euros ($9.9
billion) to buy Spanish cable operator Ono, derailing its IPO.
However, Frei believes the end to the surge in valuations
could be in sight, as more companies put themselves up for sale,
attracted by the prices on offer.
"We believe asset values will plateau," he said.
($1 = 0.7255 Euros)
($1 = 0.8843 Swiss Francs)
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)