Annual General Meeting - Statement
8 February 2007
In my statement accompanying the Report & Accounts for the year ended 30 September 2006, I reported that the year had been one of great achievement for Electra with excellent results, the completion of a major business review and Shareholders’ approval for a strategy which returned Electra to full investment of its capital resources in private equity.
The revised investment strategy and new management arrangements with Electra Partners were approved by Shareholders at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 12 October 2006 and I am pleased to say that these have now got off to a good start.
The private equity market remains competitive although Electra has a broadly based investment strategy and is able to target private equity opportunities through direct investment, fund investment and secondary buyouts of portfolios and funds across a wide range of sectors and types of financial instrument. As a result the first four months of the year have been active in terms of new investment. By contrast, the level of realisations for the first four months of the year have, as we expected, been less than last year.
During the year ended 30 September 2006 Electra made on-market purchases at a cost of £64.3m and cancelled 4.78 million shares. Since the year end a further 1.22 million shares have been purchased on-market for cancellation for a consideration of just under £18 million.
In January we announced the appointment of two additional non-executive Directors of Electra, Colette Bowe and Lucinda Webber who will join the Board on 1 March 2007. I am delighted that they are both with us today. In my letter to shareholders giving brief details about them I stated that the Board anticipated that a further non-executive Director would be appointed before the release of the Interim Results – likely to be in June, and that there would then be a period of transition after which some existing Directors would retire from the Board.
Electra Partners has now augmented its investment team and is in a strong position to maximise returns on the existing portfolio and implement the new strategy. I believe Electra has a good market position and continues to provide Shareholders with a simple and liquid access to private equity.