More funds for VCTs

Northern 3 VCT, the generalist venture capital trust managed by Northern Venture Managers, which recently gained its independence from Aberdeen Asset Management, is issuing up to 1,760,000 new ordinary shares at 100 pence through a top-up issue for the 2003/04 tax year. The top-up is the latest in a series of VCT fund raisings including among others Close Brothers, Sitka and Baronsmead and follows Gordon Brown’s pre-budget statement with proposals to make changes to VCT tax reliefs from April.

NVM managing director Alastair Conn, said: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer indicated in his recent Autumn statement that he intends to make changes to the VCT tax reliefs in the next budget. In particular, it looks as if the current tax year may be the last in which capital gains tax deferral relief will be available. In light of this the Northern 3 VCT board decided it would be appropriate to give investors the opportunity to subscribe further shares prior to 5 April 2004.”

Half of the shares available will be reserved for existing shareholders until 16 February 2004 after which all applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. The minimum investment is £3,000.

Northern 3 VCT was launched in 2001 and has raised almost £18m from investors to date.

Also on the fund raising trail is Baronsmead VCT – see EVCJ December/January, page 6 – which has to date raised £23m and hopes to reach £30m over the next few months.