Lehman’s listed private equity fund perks up

The market responded to an upbeat Lehman Brothers Private Equity Partners update this morning with a marginal increase in the stock price. But shares in the Euronext-listed vehicle are still trading at a discount to net asset value.

Shares in Lehman Brothers Private Equity Partners (LBPE), a Euronext-listed private equity fund of funds, rose by just over four percent this morning before sliding back slightly, on news that the company had benefited from gains in its private equity holdings.

LBPE, which last month effected a share buyback with ABN AMRO to boost liquidity, said that as of the end of July, the net asset value per share of the company’s portfolio was $10.84. This represents a slight decline over the month of July but an overall gain in 2008 of 4.5 percent.

The company attributed the NAV increase to appreciating values in certain co-investments in the power and energy sectors and increasing unrealised value in underlying private equity fund investments.

On the downside, said the firm, the portfolio has been hampered by market-wide falling valuations and adverse foreign exchange adjustments.

LBPE floated on Euronext in July 2007, placing 50 million shares at $10 each. This morning the shares were trading at around $7.90.  In February this year the shares dropped below the $7 mark, reaching a low of $6.71.

Earlier this month KKR, the US buyout giant, unveiled plans to acquire and delist its Euronext-traded fund, KKR Private Equity Investors, after the fund had consistently traded at a large discount to NAV.