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Baronsmead VCTs build on fundraise success to launch £50 million share offer

by | Dec 5, 2023

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The Baronsmead Venture Trust and the Baronsmead Second Venture Trust (the Baronsmead VCTs), managed by specialised alternative asset manager Gresham House, have launched a £30 million share offer with an over-allotment option of £20 million.

The new funds raised will provide further liquidity for the trusts, enabling them to continue taking advantage of investment opportunities across a wide range of innovative early-stage UK businesses. 

The Baronsmead Venture Trust was one of the first VCTs to launch in 1998, with the Baronsmead Second Venture Trust following in 2001. The longstanding VCTs are two of the largest on the market, with combined net assets of £390 million as at 31 October 2023. Taking a hybrid approach – unique to VCTs at this scale – the portfolios are divided between AIM-quoted companies and unquoted companies, which increases diversification and liquidity.

 
 

The share offer builds on a strong year for the Baronsmead VCTs, both in terms of fundraising and dealflow. Earlier this year, the trusts successfully completed a £50 million fundraise, surpassing its initial £40 million target as investors continued to show confidence in the VCTs despite one of the most turbulent periods in history for UK markets.

In recent months, the trusts have closed a series of promising new investments, with the most recent being a £3.1 million investment into digital health platform provider Mable Therapy in August. This followed a £3.5 million investment into sustainability impact software business Dayrize, a £4.65 million investment into climate impact data business Connect Earth and a £4 million investment into neuro-inclusion solutions leader Cognassist.

Trevor Hope, CIO at Gresham House Ventures and manager of the Baronsmead VCTs

 
 

“We launch this share offer at a time of refocus for the wider market, as the ‘growth at all costs’ mantra shifts to a prioritisation of high-quality company fundamentals. No matter the market cycle, our rigorous focus on quality has remained a cornerstone of our philosophy, and this process has led us to many promising, disruptive companies at historically low valuations. 

“As this year draws to a close, we will have provided over £50m of growth capital funding from our VCT funds, backing digitally driven entrepreneurs transforming consumer, healthcare and service industries. Despite a difficult market environment, the robustness and growth prospects of these British home-grown businesses stand out on the global stage, and we hope to use this latest fundraise to take advantage of further long-term growth opportunities.

“For those seeking a diversified investment option to take advantage of historically low valuations, we believe the Baronsmead VCTs can provide both new and existing investors an exciting avenue to back a new generation of innovative UK businesses.”

 
 

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