All IPO & City News

Octopus launches VCT fund of funds

Asset management firm Octopus has launched an investment vehicle aiming to exploit opportunities in the secondary market for VCTs. The Octopus VCT Portfolio Service will target an average total return of ten per cent by investing in the shares of existing VCTs.

Manager resigns at Arc VCT

Arc Fund Management, the asset management firm appointed to run the Arc Growth Company VCT, has resigned from its role at the company. From now on the VCT will be managed by its current board, led by chairman Richard Hargreaves.

Arc VCT struggles to raise funds

The management of Arc VCT has admitted the response to its ‘C’ share offer was ‘disappointing’. The offer, which sought to raise up to £7.5 million, has brought in less than £300,000.

Nomads expect AIM slowdown to continue

The slowdown in activity on the junior market of the London Stock Exchange is set to continue, according to a poll of London-based nominated advisers (nomads) and brokers. An overwhelming majority of respondents (97 per cent) believe that there will be fewer than 70 flotations on AIM in the whole of 2008.

Recruitment group in IPO

UK-based recruitment group ReThink has floated on AIM, raising £804,000 to cover the costs of admission. The company has a market capitalisation of £9.1 million at the placing price of 10p per share.

Profitable exits save ProVen VCT

ProVen VCT produced a positive total return for investors last year thanks to a number of profitable exits, including that of marketing group Gyro International. Though the company’s net asset value per share fell 6.2 per cent to 121.6p in the year to February, dividends of 13p lifted total returns to 2.5 per cent.

FTSE Environmental Index launched

An index has been launched to track the performance of 450 green companies worldwide. The FTSE Environmental Opportunities All-Share Index has been produced by environmental investment specialist Impax Group in partnership with FTSE and contains companies from the new energy, waste management and pollution control sectors.

Mears to leave AIM

Social housing maintenance provider Mears is to leave AIM and join the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in order to offer improved liquidity to its investors. The group, which generated turnover of £305 million last year, will also list its shares on PLUS.

Fund powered up with AIM cash

A Guernsey-incorporated fund has raised almost £100 million to invest in India’s power and energy sector after completing a dual listing. KSK Emerging India Energy Fund has a market capitalisation of £101 million after its shares started trading on AIM and the Channel Islands Stock Exchange.

Indus raises £25 million on AIM

An oil and gas exploration and development company is to expand its interests in India after raising £25 million on AIM. Indus Gas has been valued at £300 million following the IPO, which was managed by nominated adviser Arden Partners.

Helicopter group touches down on PLUS

Pegasus, an Arizona-based manufacturer of two-seater kit helicopters, has floated on PLUS with a market capitalisation of £23 million at 11.5p per share. The helicopters will cost between £60,000 and £75,000 and the company already has an order for 25 units.

Third Titan VCT seeks £25 million

Venture capitalist Octopus Investments has launched its Titan 3 VCT. The fund plans to raise up to £25 million in the 2008/09 tax year and aims to support up to 30 unquoted companies headquartered in the UK.

TGE exit nets 20-times return

Investors in shipbuilding support business TGE Marine have generated a return of more than 20 times their investment after the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on AIM. London-based private equity firm Caledonia Investments and Swiss co-investor Capital Dynamics retain a minority of their holdings in TGE following the £67 million IPO.

Ithaca sale lifts Northern 3 VCT

Northern 3 VCT has announced an increase in its net asset value per share from 95.2p to 96.3p, excluding dividends, in the 18 months to March. The trust’s performance was boosted by the sale of business events organiser Ithaca Holdings to United Business Media for £14.25 million, and that of HR software supplier KCS to FTSE-100 software group Sage for £20 million.

Trading volumes hold key, says AIM VCT

Tim How, chairman of Framlington AIM VCT, says that the junior market is unlikely to overcome its current problems until trading volumes return from their ‘current very low level’. How’s comments come as the VCT announces a fall of 33 per cent in its net asset value, including cumulative dividends, in the year to March.

LCA exits Heliodynamics

Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA), an AIM-listed investor in low-carbon technologies, has disposed of its entire shareholding in solar power specialist Heliodynamics. The progress of the company, in which LCA had a significant minority stake, had lagged the investment firm’s expectations.

PLUS ‘grows market share’

London’s tertiary exchange, PLUS, says it has grown its share in trading of small- and mid-cap stocks that are also listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). It also claims to be making inroads into large-cap trading in the UK.

Chinese VC in London float

A company formed to invest in growth businesses operating in China has raised US$25.38 million (£13.1 million) on AIM. Yangtze China Investment will invest in unlisted companies that it expects to benefit from rising spending by the expanding Chinese middle class.

New CEO, chairman for Securstore

An online back-up and recovery business with data centres in the UK and Iceland has gained a new CEO and non-executive chairman. Securstore has appointed Orn Gunnarsson and Bjarni Armannson respectively to the roles, each of whom will take a stake of 25 per cent in the business.

MDM’s £4.4m AIM move

A minerals process and project management services provider to the mining industry is poised for growth after a £4.4 million flotation on AIM.

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