Quester VCTs acquired by NewMedia SPARK

Private equity firm NewMedia SPARK is to purchase Querist, which manages venture capital funds for early-stage technology and life sciences.

The deal could be worth up to £5.4 million, with £4 million paid on completion.

The acquisition will more than triple SPARK’s funds under management and is intended to produce efficiency savings, coupled with greater access to early-stage entrepreneurs.

Querist has £200 million under management in the form of the Quester VCTs, Quester Venture Partners and several University Technology Transfer funds. In the year to March 2007, the company generated an unaudited turnover of £5.1 million and profits of £100,000.

AIM-listed company NewMedia SPARK focuses on early-stage investments in technology, media and telecoms, with a particular emphasis on digital media and software. Recent successful exits for SPARK include the sale of Mergermarket to Pearson for £120 million.

Commenting on the acquisition of Querist, SPARK chief executive Andrew Carruthers says: ‘We have co-invested with Quester a number of times [during the post-dotcom years] and see them as one of only a few high quality participants in our sector. We plan to use this combined platform to build further funds under management and deliver long-term growth.’

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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