NVF reaches first close

Noble Fund Managers has reached the first close of its second venture finance fund, Noble Venture Finance II. The fund is £13m shy of its £100m target, making it more than twice the size of its predecessor raised in 2003. Noble Venture Finance is one of only a small group of venture debt providers in Europe. NVF II will provide debt and working capital finance between £1m and £5m to venture capital stage companies across Europe. Finance is provided in the form of loans, leases or hire purchase facilities, through multiple tranches. In addition, NVF II will receive equity rights typically by way of warrants.

PPM Capital, the private equity arm of Prudential, is in takeover discussions with M&G. M&G’s purchase of PPM Capital is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2007. In addition, PPM is expected to announce the first closing of its fund at the same time. Since 1990, PPM has invested in 105 mid-market companies mainly in the retail, leisure, healthcare, business and financial services sectors.