£60m share offer to support investment opportunities

Peter Dines, Mercia Ventures

Mercia’s Northern Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) have unveiled a new share offer of up to £60m to enable them to pursue investment opportunities while providing scale-up funding for existing portfolio companies.

The fundraise consists of a £42m share offer divided equally between the three VCTs, with an £18m over-allotment option. The Northern VCTs focus on unquoted businesses and target consistent long-term capital growth and annual dividends of between 4.5% and 5% of net asset value.

Over the past 18 months, the Northern VCTs have exited from eight portfolio companies, including Nottingham-based risk management software specialist Ideagen, education platform Boclips, and IT consultancy Intechnica.

Peter Dines, managing director of Mercia Ventures, said: “This offering allows investors to be a part of our growth journey and highlights the UK’s promising unquoted sector.

“The Northern VCTs not only offer the potential to generate significant returns and benefit from tax incentives, but also to support smaller businesses who are driving innovation and helping to stimulate the UK economy.”

The Northern VCTs have total net assets of £343m and a diversified portfolio of over 50 companies, with exposure across different sectors and regions. Despite the name, the Trusts cover the whole of the UK.