Investments  

Mercia launches virtual share exchange for investors

Mercia launches virtual share exchange for investors

Mercia Fund Management is to launch a facility which gives investors the ability to sell shares in portfolio companies they hold ahead of a full exit of the business itself.

The virtual share exchange is designed to facilitate buyers and sellers through a platform, enabling Mercia’s investors to quickly review all offers currently available on the portfolio companies they hold, and opt out for how many of their shares they would like to sell against the offer.

It is supported by a messaging system which keeps the investor updated and allows for automatic counter offers should seller ‘bids’ outweigh the total shares sought on the original offer.

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The firm said that on the other side of the exchange will be Mercia Technologies, MFM’s parent company, which listed on the Alternative Investment Market in December raising £70m from institutions such as Woodford Investment Management, Invesco and Baillie Gifford.

It also said that Mercia Technologies supports the emerging enterprise investment schemes and seed enterprise investment scheme funds through providing later stage expansion capital, however it is also looking to invest in the portfolio beyond new funding rounds, achieved by making offers available through the virtual share exchange.

Offers made by Mercia Technologies will stretch across the portfolio and will be made on an arising basis as the portfolio grows, with a number of offers available upon launch of the platform.

Mark Payton, chief executive of Mercia Technologies, stated: “We designed the investor centre to give our investors, and their advisers, a platform which makes investing into EIS and SEIS discretionary funds more accessible; enhancing the quality, consistency and transparency of communication, whilst addressing the key challenges faced by those in the EIS industry.

“The new virtual share exchange provides the next step in this evolution of the Mercia portal - offering a limited degree of liquidity to an otherwise illiquid investment - to support our on-going commitment to meet the requirements of our investors and build a valuable, diverse and balanced portfolio across their investment.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com