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04 Mar 2021

The Schiehallion Fund

Company Notes

Baillie Gifford's specialist private company vehicle

The Schiehallion Fund* aims to generate capital growth through long-term minority investments in later stage private businesses that its managers believe have “transformational growth potential”. The fund, which is managed by Peter Singlehurst, Head of Baillie Gifford’s private companies team, was launched in March 2019, when it raised US$477m through its IPO. It was not marketed to UK intermediaries or retail investors at launch and was supported by Baillie Gifford’s institutional clients. In January this year, a C share issue targeting in excess of US$500m was announced, with a minimum investment of US$5m per investor. Trading in the C shares is expected to begin before the end of April.

The fund is targeting a net total return of around three times invested capital over rolling 10-year periods. As at 31 January 2021, it had exposure to 29 companies, including Airbnb, which was listed in December 2020, and Affirm, which IPO’d in January. Position sizes ranged from 0.7% to 12.6%, which reflect performance and growing conviction, as new holdings are typically added as a 2% position. The largest geographic exposure in the portfolio is the US (71%), however, China is also regarded as providing an increasingly attractive opportunity set and accounted for 7% of the portfolio at the end of January.

Since its launch in March 2019, Schiehallion has delivered a NAV total return of 52% and a share price total return of 60% (both in US Dollar terms). Over this period its shares have consistently traded at a premium to NAV, averaging 15%. As at 30 September Baillie Gifford had US$4.8bn of assets invested in around 90 private companies across a number of mandates and clients. Since the first unlisted investment, the strategy has delivered six realisations and 22 IPOs, with around US$40bn now invested in these public companies. Between September 2012 and 30 September 2020, the private company investing strategy has produced a gross IRR of 26.8% and a total value to paid-in capital of 1.9x.

*Denotes a corporate broking client of Winterflood Securities