Close Enterprise VCT plays it slow

Nearly 18 months after its launch, Close Enterprise VCT holds most of its assets in fixed-interest securities and loan notes, according to its interim management statement.

Since 1 April, the managers have invested £17.2 million of the VCT’s total funds of £28.5 million in such securities, while £808,000 has gone into growth companies.

According to VCT rules, 70 per cent of total assets must be invested in qualifying companies within three years. With less than one-third of its assets so invested, Close Enterprise VCT is some way from meeting this requirement.

The largest of the non-qualifying investments is a Treasury gilt yielding 4.0 per cent, in which the fund has £11.9 million invested. A further £6.7 million is held in floating-rate notes with various banks and building societies, which reach maturity in 2009 or 2010.

Qualifying investments include Dexela, a developer of medical imaging technology for early detection of breast cancer, and energy performance certificate provider Vibrant.

Some VCT managers, including Close MD Patrick Reeve, have hailed the economic downturn as providing excellent opportunities for new investments. Research from Business XL in June revealed that the trusts have more than £1 billion remaining to invest in fast-growth companies.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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