North East Technology Fund news 2010
IP Group plc – Interim Management Statement
29 Apr 2010
IP Group plc (LSE: IPO), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, today issues its Interim Management Statement in accordance with FSA Disclosure and Transparency Rule 4.3.
This statement provides an update on the Group’s progress since 31 December 2009 to date.
Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: “The value of the Group’s portfolio has remained stable during the first quarter of 2010 and there have been many examples of our businesses continuing to make technical and commercial progress, as well as announcing further significant financings. The Group remains financially strong with no borrowings and the launch of the North East Technology Fund during the period has further strengthened our fund management business and widened our pipeline of potential investment opportunities.”
During the period from 1 January 2010 to 28 April 2010, the Group invested a total of £2.3m into 11 portfolio companies. During the equivalent period in 2009, the Group invested £1.2m into 10 companies. Investments during the period included the first two co-investments with Fusion IP plc, following the Group’s acquisition of a strategic 19.8% shareholding and completion of a co-investment agreement in December 2009, into Asalus Medical Devices Limited, which is developing devices for laparoscopic surgery, and Seren Photonics Limited, which is developing novel High Brightness LEDs.
The Group made total realisations during the period of £0.6m, compared to £nil for the equivalent period in 2009.
At 28 April 2010, the Group’s portfolio of investments was valued at £101.8m compared to £101.3m at 31 December 2009, representing a net decline in fair value for the year to date, excluding net investment, of £1.1m (1.1%). This decrease was largely attributable to the 15 companies in the Group’s portfolio which are quoted on either AIM or PLUS Markets where there was a net fair value loss of £0.7m (1.8%) during the period to 28 April 2010.
The Group’s portfolio has continued to progress commercially and technically, and a number have announced significant financings. Examples during the period are as follows:
- Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited (“Oxford Nanopore”), a spin-out company from the University of Oxford, announced a £17.4m equity financing from new and existing investors to accelerate the development of its electronic, single molecule analysis technology, including its BASETM Technology for super-fast DNA sequencing. The financing resulted in a fair value gain of £2.2m for the Group.
- Ilika plc announced yesterday an intention to list on the AIM Market raising £5.2m. The company has received commitments from a high quality group of investors in what remains a challenging market for new issues. The completion of the IPO at a lower valuation than the private financing completed in 2007 will result in a reduction of £2.0m in the fair value of the Group’s current holding to £1.5m. This fair value compares to cash invested to date from the Group’s balance sheet of £0.2m.
- Syntopix Group plc from the University of Leeds, which specialises in topical antimicrobials for the medical and consumer healthcare markets, announced the raising of £2.0m by way of an AIM placing which will be used to fund further human use studies with its lead compounds and further develop its IP portfolio. Also, Syntopix signed an agreement with Sinclair Pharma plc (“Sinclair”), the international specialty Pharma company, to work together on the identification of an antimicrobial compound to synergise and enhance the activity of a key product for Sinclair.
- Proximagen Neuroscience plc, a spin-out from King’s College, London which is developing drugs for diseases of the central nervous system (“CNS”), announced in January an offer to acquire Minster Pharmaceuticals plc, its second acquisition since a £50m placing in 2009. Proximagen then announced positive efficacy in epilepsy studies carried out by the United States’ National Institute of Health on Tonabersat, one of Minster’s portfolio of compounds, followed by the sublicensing of the compound in North American to Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc.
In January 2010, the Group announced that it had won the mandate to manage The North East Technology Fund, a £25m venture capital fund that will invest in technology companies in the North East region of England. The Group has now established its office in Newcastle and the Group’s investment team is currently assessing a promising pipeline of potential investments in the region.
IP Venture Fund (“IPVF”), the £30.9m venture capital fund dedicated to follow-on investments in the Group’s portfolio companies, invested a total of £0.7m across 3 companies during the period to 28 April 2009 (Q1 2009: £0.1m, 1 company). To date, IPVF has invested a total of £13.8m into 23 IP Group portfolio companies since its launch in July 2006.
Balance sheet update
At 28 April 2010, the Group had net cash of £25m, a diversified portfolio valued at £102m and net assets of £169m, representing 66p per share.
For the full announcement, please click here .
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