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Close Brothers VCT divests hotels

Close Brothers Venture Capital Trust has sold its investments in Premier VCT and Hawkwell VCT, which own the 96-room Express by Holiday Inn in Bristol city centre and the 51-bed Hawkwell House Hotel in Oxford. Close Brothers originally invested GBP7.7 million and the aggregate consideration received by the group for its holdings, net of sale costs, was GBP10.5 million.

The proceeds will be invested in new initiatives in the leisure and healthcare sectors. The first is Kew Green VCT which will undertake an GBP8.5 million project to construct and operate a 175 room Express by Holiday Inn at Stansted Airport, with a subsequent phase incorporating an additional 75 rooms.

The second initiative is a plan to build and operate a care home for people with learning disabilities, located in East Anglia, UK. Both of these investments will be syndicated with Close Brothers Protected VCT plc and Healthcare & Leisure Property Fund, also advised by Close Venture Management.

Close Brothers Venture Capital Trust invests in a broad range of unquoted asset-backed businesses in the hotel, care home, residential property development, health and fitness and cinema sectors. It is aimed at providing investors with a lower risk investment profile, at the same time generating a strong dividend yield. Since its launch in 1996, it has paid out to shareholders over 42 pence in dividends, averaging over seven pence per annum.