Rapid raises £12.8m from disposals

RAPID Realisations, the pre-IPO investment fund run by Haydock-based Cenkos Fund Managers, says it has raised £12.8m from disposals and returned £23m to shareholders since being targeted by an activist investor.

Damille Investments took 17% in May and later demanded the fund manager cut overheads, stop making new investments and return as much cash as possible to shareholders.

After these measures were approved at an annual meeting in September the fund pressed ahead with a series of disposals and has returned the revenue along with cash on the balance sheet to shareholders who received 40p per share during the year.

Following the payout the net asset value per share stands at 50.4p, down on 104.7p at the end of 2009. Total net assets are £29.1m, down from £60.4m. In a report for the year to December 31 chairman Rhys Davies said the fund had sold two business during the year and partially exited from six.

“I am very satisfied with the progress being made following the adoption of the new investment policy earlier this year and having returned a further 5p per share to shareholders in February 2011, look forward to returning further funds to shareholders in due course,” he said.

Rapid raised £2.2m by selling its holdings in Milton Keynes data centre operator Infinity SDC and internet hosting provider Daily Internet. It raised a further £10.2m from selling shares in six other firms: Manchester-based oil exploration business Enegi Oil; distressed debt specialist DDM Group; Green Compliance; Just Car Clinics repair centres; broadband provider Keycom; and camera and lighting equipment supplier Take 2. Since the year end £400,000 was raised from the disposal of its stake in Dynamic IT Management Services.

During the period Rapid did commit £5.5m in previously agreed funds to portfolio companies. These were: Manchester fast food chain Barburrito; Chorley-based bookmaker Taylormade; DDM Group; software developer Information Prophets; and insurance claims management firm Service Solutions Group.

Rapid Realisations began life in 2007 as a £60m fund which was meant to take short-term stakes in companies before floating them on the stock exchange. However, the market for raising funds for small cap stocks has since fallen away.

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