Investee Company – far blue (UK)
Investee Company Business Type – Operates an independent technology investment and management group
Type of Financing – Institutional backing of a VC (not in a limited partnership structure)
Equity Providers – Bank of Scotland
Equity Leader (Individual) – Barrie Lambie, Bank of Scotland
Debt Providers – N/A
Debt Type – N/A
Debt Leader (Individual) – N/AEquity Amount – undisclosed
Total Deal Value – undisclosed
Other Advisors – N/A
Comments – Independent technology investment and management group, far blue, has added the Bank of Scotland to it’s list of institutional investors. The Bank of Scotland joins previous investors J & W Seligman, Aberdeen Asset Management, Friends Ivory & Sime and clients of the US firm Prudential Securities, taking an undisclosed minority stake in the company.
Under the management of Matthew Hudson, one of the founders of SJ Berwin’s PE division, far blue aims to return to the grass roots of venture capital, applying the US 1950s-style venture capital approach to early stage investments in the UK. The company focuses on data storage and transmission, networks, optoelectronics, telecoms, wireless and Internet infrastructure, imaging and displays sectors. See evcj Dec/Jan 2001 issue p50.
Matthew Hudson, CEO of far blue, said: “We are delighted to have Bank of Scotland as a partner for our technology investment activities. The bank’s investment adds even greater weight to the impetus created by investors who have recognised far blue’s depth of technology expertise and operational activity.”
Peter Helfet, CTO of far blue, said: “far blue, its market and investment partners have a natural synergy with Bank of Scotland. This is a long term relationship reinforcing the solid foundation which has underpinned far blue to date.”
Since it’s launch in May 2000, far blue has invested over $8 million of it’s $15 million investment capability through nine investment rounds into seven companies, Doctorsworld PLC, Imerge Ltd, Infinite Data Storage, Polaris Telementry Ltd, Polight Technology, Voxar Ltd and Mcentric.
Barrie Lambie, head of private equity at the Bank of Scotland, said: ” far blue should represent an excellent investment for the Bank. In addition, far blue’s investment, management and operational strengths will assist the Bank’s already significant equity and venture capital activities.”