Guinness Ventures, the growth company investment arm of Guinness Asset Management, has launched a share offer for its new Venture Capital Trust, its first VCT vehicle. The Offer is for £10 million with a £20 million over-allotment. It will close not later than 3.00 pm on 3 April 2023 for the 2022/2023 tax year and 3.00 pm on 31 August 2023 for the 2023/2024 tax year (unless, in either case, the Offer has been fully subscribed by an earlier date).
The new fund will be a generalist fund providing scale-up capital in a balanced and diversified portfolio for investors looking for exposure to exciting businesses which the managers believe have the potential to grow. In particular, they will look to invest in businesses with four key characteristics: strong management teams; exceptional growth prospects; strong competitive positions with unique attributes which make them difficult to replicate or substitute; and strong prospects of being sold or floated in the future.
The Guinness VCT may co-invest with Guinness EIS services. Currently, the Guinness EIS service is an active investor in over 40 private growth companies across 14 sectors. Guinness also has an extensive track record of investing in AIM-listed companies and may invest up to 20% of the portfolio in AIM-listed companies.
The diversified approach to investing from Guinness provides exposure to growth companies across a range of sectors including technology, education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, leisure and food & drink. The focus is on companies that already have a proven product, service or technology, but are looking to gain traction in their respective markets.
The team uses a robust and tested investment process to select companies, assessing hundreds of businesses each year from within its network or from direct approaches. For companies which become part of the portfolio, there will be ongoing monitoring and Guinness will provide a support framework to help the investee companies achieve their growth potential. The exit strategy for each investment is assessed from the start of this process and reviewed regularly as part of the focus on generating value for investors.
These companies seek to raise scale-up funds to further commercialise their product or service. The team have a proven track-record in identifying businesses that have demonstrated the ability to raise and appropriately employ seed-stage funding and now require further funding to accelerate growth and deliver shareholder returns.
Commenting on the launch, Shane Gallwey, Head of Ventures said, “We are pleased to be able to offer investors the opportunity to access this exciting and vibrant segment of the UK market. In excess of £1 billion was raised into VCTs last year which was an increase of 65% over the previous tax year, showing the popularity of these investments. Guinness Ventures has a long track record of finding and helping successful small businesses, with £255 million invested into companies from the Guinness EIS and Guinness AIM EIS services since 2010. £95 million has already been returned to investors.
“We draw on the extensive investment management, venture capital and private equity experience of our highly experienced investment team who are truly invested in the success of the companies that make up our portfolio.”