One of AIM’s most successful companies is planning to launch a venture capital trust (VCT) to take advantage of the enhanced tax breaks these specialist investment vehicles receive.
IP2IPO, an ambitious technology-transfer endeavour run by former Beeson Gregory financier David Norwood, is considering an offer to raise £20 million for a proposed VCT called UniVen. This will be managed by Top Technology, a venture capital manager founded 18 years ago by Harry Fitzgibbons and acquired by IP2IPO this summer for £2.4 million.
If it goes ahead, this trust should prove popular, as IP2IPO has seen its shares surge more than 140 per cent to 665p since joining AIM a year ago. This values the company, which has agreements with various university departments, including Oxford and King’s College London, to invest in their technology, at £271 million.
That compares with a net asset value of £62.7 million at the end of June, made up of £37.3 million in cash and stakes in 18 companies. Significant holdings include recent AIM floats oil services group Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping, chemical genomics concern Vastox and Synairgen, a researcher into the causes of asthma.