Praetura directors chip in on first VCT raise

Praetura at the London Stock Exchange

More than half of the subscriptions to Praetura’s new venture capital trust (VCT) were from amongst its own staff and directors.

The Praetura Growth VCT PLC sought to raise £10 million in June 2023, with a minimum lower subscription amount set at £3 million (net of offer cost). 

However, in a filing to the London Stock Exchange yesterday (22 May 2024) it was revealed that of the £3m raised, 53.34% of the money was sourced from “relevant persons”, who are connected to Praetura as the investment manager, either as shareholder, directors or through being closely connected with shareholders in the company.

In the filing Praetura has agreed with the Takeover Panel that those “relevant persons” are acting “in concert” and are therefore referred to as the “Praetura Concert Party”.

They include Praetura founders David Foreman and Peadar O’Reilly, and Linda Caunce, the wife of Steve Caunce, a major backer and shareholder of the investment business since its inception.

A statement from Praetura said: “The Praetura directors had always planned to make up a significant portion of the initial VCT raise as was highlighted in the VCT’s Prospectus at launch. Our commitment to the VCT is in line with the investment made in our first EIS fund in 2019.  We believe that supporting our investment offers with personal capital demonstrates our confidence in delivering returns and provides a strong alignment of interests with our external investors.

“Our focus now is to build on this momentum following the listing of the VCT, build an initial investment portfolio and grow the size of the VCT. Since launching our first EIS fund less than 5 years ago, we’ve raised over £100m of EIS capital.  Our BR qualifying offer, launched in 2021, has now raised over £35m in under 3 years and we expect a similar trajectory for our VCT.

“Launching the Praetura Growth VCT plc is the next step in our strategy of backing the best businesses from the North of England and beyond. We’re excited to make our initial investments from the VCT in the coming months.”

Last week directors from Praetura were at the London Stock Exchange to participate in the market closing following the first allotment of shares. 

Sam McArthur, Partner at Praetura Investments, said then: “After 13 years of successful investing in EIS-qualifying companies, the launch of Praetura Growth VCT was largely driven by demand from financial advisers looking for another way to access alternative investments with Praetura.

“A new VCT is extremely rare, with very few launched over the last decade. The launch underlines the strength of our differentiated proposition with a focus of investing in scale-up companies in the North of England where there is a significant opportunity for investors.”

David Foreman, managing partner and founder of Praetura Ventures said on LinkedIn: “This was a pretty cool moment… thanks to all the advisors and the team internally that worked so hard to bring this to life. And thanks also to the investors who entrusted us with their capital.”

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