Monday 15 July 2019

Draper Esprit in €80m tech deals

European focus: Draper Esprit CEO Simon Cook is excited about the funds’ prospects
European focus: Draper Esprit CEO Simon Cook is excited about the funds’ prospects
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Dublin-listed Draper Esprit is spending €63m to acquire a 27pc stake in German-based venture-capital funds Earlybird Digital West.

Separately, the company is buying a 5pc interest in Digital East Fund for approximately $20m (€17.6m).

The acquisitions will be funded by the group's plan to raise £100m (€113m) through a share placing.

The issue price will be 530p per placing share. Funds raised will also be used to finance further direct and secondary investment opportunities. The placing shares are being offered by way of an accelerated bookbuild.

"We passionately believe in the potential for Europe to become a high-tech powerhouse and are putting our money where our mouth is by furthering our strategic partnership with Earlybird," said Draper Esprit CEO Simon Cook.

"The two funds include a number of high-quality, well-positioned and fast-growing European assets, the prospects of which we are very excited about. We're also supplementing our current financial resources to continue to invest in our strong pipeline of potential future investment opportunities."

As a result of the two acquisitions, Draper Esprit will acquire underlying holdings in Smava, Peak Games, Nfon, B2X, Socialbakers and UiPath, which, along with underlying holdings in 13 other companies, will be added to its portfolio.

Announcing its interim results in November, the group said that the uncertainty caused by Brexit was something it was conscious of.

The company reported a 20pc return to investors during the six-month period.

Irish Independent

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