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Quester closes fifth VCT

UK venture capital house Quester is celebrating the close on its fifth venture capital trust at GBP18.6 million. The close is encouraging for the VCT market after vehicles such as Gartmore’s Premier VCT and Pathway One VCT were both pulled from the market earlier this year after failing to reach minimum subscription targets.

Quester has now raised GBP200 million through its VCTs and is one of the largest VCT managers in the UK. John Spooner, Quester director, said: “Despite the difficult market conditions, the successful closure of Quester VCT 5 is evidence that there remains strong investor support for our investment strategy and focus, and a continuing appetite for the tax shelter advantages that VCTs of this nature offer.”

Quester VCT 5 will invest in a spread of unquoted companies with good growth prospects, and with a particular emphasis on information and communication technologies and healthcare and life sciences.

Quester is also in the process of fund raising for Quester Venture Partnership (QVP), its first institutional VC fund for over ten years. A final close is scheduled for the coming months at between GBP100 million and GBP150 million. The fund is investing around 80 per cent in information and communication technologies (ICT) and 20 per cent in healthcare and life sciences, creating a balanced portfolio of around 30 companies. The investment team has already completed six investments for QVP totalling EURO11 million. These include five ICT investments, Anthropics, Celoxica, On Demand Distribution, Nomad and Interprovider; and Lorantis, a life science investment.