Saturday 3 December 2016

Draper Esprit snaps up London investor

Sean Duffy

Published 25/11/2016 | 02:30

Simon Cook
Simon Cook

Irish-listed investment firm Draper Esprit has acquired a 30.77pc stake in UK venture capital trust (VCT) Elderstreet Holdings.

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Elderstreet has assets of more than £25m (€29m) under management.

Draper Esprit has in excess of €200m invested in technology companies across Europe. It typically commits €1m to €15m to individual ventures. The terms of the deal mean Esprit also has an option to acquire the balance of the Elderstreet Holdings shares in time.

Draper Esprit ceo Simon Cook said the deal puts the firm on the map.

"We can now offer to investors access to high-growth technology companies through a range of vehicles from EIS funds, to VCTs and a qualifying listed evergreen patient capital vehicle with combined assets of over £350m (€412m)," he said.

"Draper Esprit is now firmly on the map as one of the major European managers of technology venture capital and growth capital with a long history of successful acquisitions such as 3i's European VC portfolio, Prelude Investment Trust, Top Technology fund and Cazenove's VC fund.".

Elderstreet has a favourable reputation. In 2014, it was named as Investment Company of the Year and was voted VCT Fund Manager of the Year in 2009 and 2010.

"Draper Esprit and Elderstreet are well-aligned in terms of investment strategy and most importantly a culture of active asset management in the unquoted companies sector," said Elderstreet chairman Michael Jackson.

"Given the recent changes in VCT rules imposed last year we view the deal as a positive step forward for our VCT shareholders," he added.

Draper Esprit, whose partners include Irish technology investor Brian Caulfield, raised €102m from its stock market flotation in Dublin and London earlier this year.

Backers include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, UK-based investment managers Woodford Investment Management and Baillie Gifford, and China Huarong International Holdings.

Irish Independent

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