Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity has launched a new Venture Capital Trust (VCT), Aberdeen Growth Opportunities VCT, with a target size of GBP30 million. This follows the launch in January this year of Aberdeen Growth VCT I, which has so far raised GBP24.5 million and is still opento investors. The investment objective of the new generalist fund is similar, aiming to achieve capital appreciation through investments in fast growing smaller unquoted UK companies.
Gary Marshall, sales and marketing director at Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “The interesting thing about investing in smaller unquoted companies is that pricing often becomes more attractive when there is economic uncertainty, so this type of product represents an excellent option for the wary UK investor.”
Bill Nixon, a director of Aberdeen Asset Managers, is responsible for managing the fund. He joined the group in 1999 from Clydesdale Bank Equity.
In addition to equity funding AMJPE will also provide its portfolio companies with help recruiting senior management, identifying acquisitions and planning the eventual sale process.
The fund will invest in 30 companies across a range of sectors, focusing on businesses that are already established and generating revenues but which also have underlying growth potential. Nixon says: “Regardless of the industry sector, the capability of the management team is always the single most important factor when investing in private companies so we spend a lot of time getting comfortable with the senior management team and their ability to run the business.” The VCT is looking for companies with an activity or product that is tangible. Investments will include MBOs, development capital and some early stage participations.
Since 1981 AMJPE has achieved an IRR of 20.2 per cent on realised unquoted investments. Other VCTs under its management include Murray VCT, Murray VCT 2, Murray VCT 3 and Murray VCT 4.