Venture Capital Trusts  

Seneca seeks £10m for growth capital VCT

Seneca seeks £10m for growth capital VCT
 Credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Seneca Partners is looking to raise £10m in the investment boutique’s latest fundraise for its Growth Capital venture capital trust.

The Seneca Growth Capital VCT, which currently has £9.8m assets under management between its ordinary and ‘B shares’ trusts, seeks to provide investors with an attractive income stream as well as capital growth over the longer term.

The new offer — a subscription to the VCT’s ‘B shares’ — is aiming for £10m with an over-allotment facility to raise up to a further £10m.

Seneca’s VCT targets established businesses with “strong and proven leadership teams” that can demonstrate established concepts and are seeking capital to support development.

Over the past year, the ‘B shares’ trust, which was launched in 2018, has lost 2.2 per cent compared to the sector’s average loss of 7 per cent.

The ordinary shares VCT, which has a longer track record, has returned 92 per cent over 10 years.

John Davies, investment manager at Seneca Partners, said: “With a strong pipeline of opportunities currently in due diligence, we believe we will continue to find attractive investment opportunities in innovative growth businesses for the VCT portfolio. 

“We expect to see an increase in the number of businesses seeking investment to support their growth plans over the next year, as they react and adapt to this ever changing economic climate.”

Mr Davies added that the trust had delivered against its strategic objectives since launch and was “well positioned” to take advantage of new post-Covid investment opportunities.

According to Seneca, the investment firm had deployed around £100m to more than 50 small and medium sized companies through 100 funding rounds.

VCTs are like investment trusts but only invest in small, young and typically unlisted companies.

Although such companies are riskier and statistically more likely to go bust, investing in a VCT comes with a 30 per cent income tax relief from the government and returns are tax free.

One of the Seneca branded but stand alone businesses, Seneca Investment Managers, yesterday announced it was it was selling Seneca Investment Managers to Momentum Global Investment Management.

The deal will not affect the Seneca Growth Capital VCT as part of Seneca Partners, which is not involved in the deal.

imogen.tew@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.