Investments 

Gresham House buys Livingbridge fund range

Gresham House buys Livingbridge fund range

Gresham House has bought the UK funds business of Livingbridge.

Livingbridge’s UK operation include the Baronsmead venture capital trusts, the Livingbridge MicroCap fund and the Livingbridge UK Multi Cap Income fund.

Gresham House have confirmed the transaction will add £500m to its assets under management and mean 18 staff transfer to the company.

The company paid £30m for the Livingbridge assets which will be funded by a placing of new shares in Gresham House, as well as existing cash reserves.

Gresham House chief executive Anthony Dalwood said: "The Livingbridge VC fund management business' investment philosophy across public and private equity companies has generated strong performance and has clear financial and strategic benefits for long-term Gresham House shareholder value.

"The excellent team will add to our existing high-quality investment and client personnel, enabling additional growth opportunities for the Group. We look forward to supporting the Baronsmead VCT and Equity Funds brands, which are well respected in their markets, alongside their strong investment track record.

"The acquisition is an extension of Gresham House’s organic strategy, aligning investment goals of the two teams. Additionally, we expect the deal to be immediately earnings enhancing, taking the Group’s AUM past £2bn, increasing our scale and relevance to investors and creating additional shareholder value."

In the first six months of 2018 Gresham House made a profit of £400,000, boosted by gains from a previous acquisition.

Jason Hollands, managing director for business development at wealth manager Tilney, said: "This will certainly surprise advisers, as the Baronsmead VCTs have long been perceived as part of the DNA of Livingbridge, which started out as a team at Friends Ivory & Sime and was formerly known as Isis Equity Partners.

"The businesses was a pioneer in the VCT market, having been involved in it since the inception of scheme. The team built a strong record for backing management buy-outs but over the years, but the process has evolved to pursue a hybrid investment approaching, incorporating both AIM company and unquoted investment."

david.thorpe@ft.com

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