BioScience Managers partners with large UK Venture Capital Trust Fund

  • Agreement with Downing to launch a new Healthcare Offer for VCT investors
  • A target raise of £10 million with investors able to make monthly contributions
  • High demand likely, with fewer offers open to investment
  • Portfolio to target dividends of at least 4 per cent pa (of net assets) from the fourth year onwards

Melbourne, Australia 13 December, 2016 – Leading life sciences investment group BioScience Managers has partnered with London based investment firm Downing LLP to offer a new Healthcare Share Class to VCT investors.

Venture Capital Trusts or VCT’s are UK tax advantaged funds designed to promote investment in small companies. The launch follows tighter UK legislation that has restricted the pool of companies qualifying as VCT investments.

Downing chief executive, Mr Tony McGing, said the tighter rules meant that healthcare was one of the few remaining opportunities for VCT investments, which can produce a tax-free income for investors.

“The latest rule changes mean there are few genuinely ‘different’ opportunities eligible for VCT investment,’’ said Mr McGing.

“Healthcare has traditionally provided opportunities to fund incredibly innovative companies that have the potential to deliver attractive returns to investors.

“The sector has capacity for growth against a backdrop of an ageing population and increasing global expenditure on healthcare,’’ he said.

The new Healthcare Share Class offers VCT investors the opportunity to gain exposure to this specialist sector through an experienced team of experts who have a good track record.”

Jeremy Curnock Cook, Managing Director of BioScience Managers, said he was confident that the global healthcare industry would grow to meet the increasing requirements of Western economies and those in China, India and Japan.

“There are lots of incredibly innovative companies developing new technologies but there is a significant funding gap which prevents them progressing from start-up to the next level,’’ said Mr Curnock Cook.

“Our multi-disciplinary team brings an international perspective together with the track record, networks and expertise required to convert that perspective into informed investment decisions.“

Mr Curnock Cook said healthcare was relatively resistant to recession and continued to grow year-on-year as cures were found for diseases previously without diagnosis.

The four major areas he will be concentrating on for investment are drugs, diagnostics, medical devices, and e-health tech (‘big data’).

“We are very excited by the prospect of working closely with the Downing team,’’ said Mr Curnock Cook.

“VCT structures are an ideal way to get access to small specialist companies operating in our key focus areas. They provide a portfolio of companies that can yield significant returns through a vehicle that is much more secure than making a direct investment. Importantly, VCTs can facilitate the development of technologies to a point where they are recognised by the major players, therefore providing the opportunity for both consolidation and exit,’’ he said.

Mr Curnock Cook said BioScience Manager would continue to apply its very selective investment strategy, striving for a consistent return.

“We don’t want to make one or two investments that achieve a ten times return, we prefer to select investments that achieve consistent returns of three to four times that are more than adequate for our clients.”

Bioscience Managers operate a high value-add model, providing assistance and support to portfolio companies via a global team and international network of independent industry advisors. With combined experience of over 170 investments, more than 40 IPOs/reversals in Europe, the US and Australia, and a diverse skillset specific to the bio-based industries, the Group aims to provide investee companies with significant value-add over and above capital invested.

About BioScience Managers:

BioScience Managers is a leading healthcare investment specialist founded in 2003, with the assistance of VicStart. It invests in a portfolio of biomedical companies which have clear technological and market advantages in which it can influence success and is confident of managing an exit. Past funds have averaged a net annual internal rate of return above 20 per cent. Jeremy Curnock Cook is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare investing

About Downing:

Downing LLP is a London-based investment management firm. It helps UK businesses grow by investing in them via a range of venture capital trust (VCT), enterprise investment schemes (EIS), inheritance tax (IHT), individual savings account (ISA) and open-ended investment company (OEIC) products. So far, it has more than 35,000 investors and has raised over £1.7 billion to invest into businesses across a range of sectors, from renewable energy, care homes, health clubs, pubs, and children’s nurseries, to app-technology, sports nutrition and satellite earth stations. We currently have over £700 million of funds under management.

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